Aloha Stadium is located at 99-500 Salt Lake Boulevard in Halawa, Hawaii (a suburb of Honolulu), just north of the Honolulu International Airport and northeast of Pearl Harbor.
Aloha Stadium opened in 1976 as a multi-purpose stadium, replacing Honolulu Stadium as the island’s main outdoor sports arena. Honolulu Stadium was located 10 miles southeast of Aloha Stadium and was demolished in 1976. Then Governor John Burns spearheaded the drive to construct Aloha Stadium and replace outdated Honolulu Stadium.
Aloha Stadium was designed so that the seating area could be moved to accommodate various configurations.Four 7,000 seat grandstand sections moved with the use of pressurized air to create a diamond configuration for baseball.
Because of problems with the system that moves the grandstand seating, in 2006, Aloha Stadium’s seating was permanently locked in a rectangular configuration for football.
The Stadium Authority added sky walks between the four different grandstand sections.
When Aloha Stadium opened in 1976, it was home to the Pacific Coast League Hawaii Islanders.
During the Islanders’ stay at Aloha Stadium, the team was affiliated with the San Diego Padres from 1976 to 1982, the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1983 to 1986, and the Chicago White Sox in 1987.
In 1986 and 1987, the Islanders also played some of their home games at Rainbow Stadium (currently Les Murakami Stadium), the home of the University of Hawaii baseball team.
After the 1987 season, the Islanders franchise was relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Professional baseball has made brief returns to Aloha Stadium, first with the arrival of the Major League Baseball affiliated minor league Hawaii Winter Baseball League, which played at Aloha Stadium from 1993 to 1997. On April 19 and 20, 1997, the San Diego Padres hosted the St. Louis Cardinals for a three game regular season series at Aloha Stadium, thus making the stadium a Major League ballpark, if only for three games. The Padres also played additional exhibition games at Aloha Stadium up until 2001.
With the grandstand seating now permanently locked in a football configuration, it is highly unlikely professional baseball ever will return to Aloha Stadium.
Home plate was located in the center of what is now the stadium’s southern most end zone.
Aloha current tenants include the University of Hawaii Warriors football team, who have played at the stadium since its opening in 1975. It also hosts annually the NCAA Hawaii Bowl and the National Football League Pro Bowl.
The parking lot that surrounds Aloha Stadium hosts a giant Swap Meet every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Ironically, none of the vendors at the swap meet had any baseball or Aloha Stadium related merchandise on the day I visited.
With talk underway to upgrade the Aloha Stadium, the venue is not currently in any danger of becoming yet another lost ballpark. However, it’s days of hosting baseball games are behind it.
Still, if you are in the habit of collecting ballparks – or former professional baseball parks – Aloha Stadium should be added to your list as a former Major League Park (if only for three days). It is a short drive from Pearl Harbor, if you are in the area, and if you are there on a Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday, you can walk around the perimeter of the stadium through the rows of vendors at the swap meet.