Homecoming is this weekend for the University of Hawaii and tomorrow’s football game is the main event. If you asked fans a couple of weeks ago, most probably would have said they wouldn’t come. After the team won two games in a row, the fan base seems invigorated. They’ve been showing some life for Nick Rolovich’s social media prowess but to see the team improve and win has been big. The team currently leads the West Division in the MWC with a 2-0 in conference record.
Without a doubt, the game against UNLV should sport the largest crowd this team has seen at home in years. Because of that, I expect a lot of first timers to the game tomorrow. Here are a few keys that will make the game awesome for you.
1. First off you need to come to the game in the right gear. Green is preferable if you do not own Rainbow Warrior clothes. None of this "but it's my favorite color" stuff (better not be red tomorrow). Your favorite color tomorrow will be green. To my knowledge, there has not been a coordinated effort to get fans to wear the same color so no need to worry about that. If you forget about your UH apparel festivities, there is a K-Mart across the stadium that carries a limited selection. You can also buy something inside the stadium but they are expensive.
If you want more information, Ka Leo did a really good job of outlining places to get your UH apparel.
Homecoming shirts. I'll be passing them out on campus this week. If you are wearing red, you will not get one. pic.twitter.com/TZcBaGBrP0— Nick Rolovich (@NickRolovich) October 10, 2016
2. I cry every time I leave Aloha Stadium because my wallet is empty. Even worse is the fact that you need cash. Do yourself a favor, eat before you go. Better yet, tomorrow is homecoming so go and tailgate. No matter what you do, try and get your fill before the game starts. You’ll see crazy prices for food, which is average at best. There are 3rd party vendors inside the stadium that have some good eats but their prices are a little more expensive than usual. Like I said before, tailgate and you won’t have a problem. If you do tailgate, just be prepared to reserve your whole Saturday to be at Aloha Stadium.
There are quite a few places around the Stadium you can go eat too. The Stadium Mall has a yakiniku buffet, pho, Chinese food, and local plate lunch stuff among fast food joints.
If you really don’t know where to go, just do yourself a favor and Yelp it.
3. If you are thinking of tailgating, make sure you get there early to reserve a spot. The parking lot has been full for all the home games so far. If you want to get a good spot, you need to get there by 1PM when they open.
LOWER AND UPPER HALAWA PARKING LOTS (GATES 3 & 4) OPEN AT 1:00 PM.
*public is encouraged to use Gate 3. Additional parking cashiers will be added to all lanes
ALL OTHER PARKING GATES (Gates 1 & 2**) WILL OPEN AT 2:00PM.
(from the Aloha Stadium website)
Don’t forget to bring a canopy because it will be hot and a little shade will go a long way.
Also if you need driving directions, go to the Aloha Stadium website.
4. Traffic is a nightmare and you’ll probably want to take the bus, shuttle, cab it or Uber it to the game. Parking inside Aloha Stadium costs $10 and there are a few other places around the stadium in which you can park. A lot of people try to avoid paying so they hunt for spots in the surrounding neighborhoods. Good luck with that.
Radford High School, Kam Drive-in, and Leeward Community College all have parking available for a fee (Leeward has free parking but a $2 shuttle service). You can try to be sneaky and park at K-Mart/Sack-N-Save but be careful because they might tow you.
Also, there is the UH Football Express service:
The UH Football Express service offers one-game or seasonal passes for shuttle transportation in air-conditioned vehicles with five pick-up locations to choose from:
Hawaii Kai Park ‘n’ Ride
Kahala Mall curbside near Bank of Hawaii
Kailua Recreation Center on Kainalu Drive
Alaloa Street in Kaneohe, above Sears at Windward Mall
Mililani Park ‘n’ Ride
Reservations for the UH Football Express are required for all round-trips and may be made online at www.UHFootballExpress.com, or by calling Roberts Hawaii at 808-954-8625 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.
(from the University of Hawaii Athletics website)
For more information on Parking visit the Aloha Stadium website.
5. Need transportation if you’re a student?
UH offers a bus service for students to go to the football games and all you need is your student ID. Buses will leave the Manoa campus two hours before the game. You will want to go to Kalele Road, which is on the lower campus near the football and soccer practice fields. Once the game is done, the buses will take you back to campus and drop you off near Frear Hall.
For more visit the University of Hawaii Athletics Department website.
6. Here are a few activities for those who are not tailgating tomorrow. The Aloha Stadium website has all the details.
XTREME FUN KEIKI ZONE has relocated to North Plaza parking section 8a. Look for newly added rides and activities for the Keiki starting at 1 p.m. through kick-off
NEWLY ADDED North Plaza Activities – Gate 7 open to the public at 3:30 p.m.
ESPN 1420AM has relocated and is now live on the North Plaza Rooftop
Hali Hali Rides – available through half-time
DIY Keiki Art Walls – available through half-time
Free keiki ID kits from New York Life in the North Plaza
C-Stand beer garden
C-Gear Shop selling official and exclusive UH styles and designs in the North Plaza
Entertainment on the Plaza featuring Island-Daze
Gates 1 & 2 open to the public at 4:30 p.m.
Corporate sponsor activities:
Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union – Gate 7
Ferguson – Gate 4
Mulvadi Corporation – Gate 1
UH Kinesology – HCAMP – Gate 7
UFC Gym – Gate 4
And enjoy post-game grinds at the South East Plaza Spiral with made-to-order saimin.
7. When the game starts you need to GET UP. I hope that I don't need to say this but if you go to the game get hyped. This is going to be a fun game and you should cherish it. It has been a long time since fans could legitimately walk into the Aloha Stadium with the expectation of a good game. Don’t be scared if the ground starts to shake, it’s been doing that forever. I’d like to think it was designed to help create a ruckus when the visitors are on offense.
It was awesome to hear to crowd get nuts during the Nevada game and I know the team loved it too. Let’s make it even louder tomorrow.
8. Please be safe. During the last home game, people got sick from drinking too much. It is important to have fun but no one wants to see you taken out by the ambulance.
9. Last but not least... GO BOWS!
Don’t forget to follow along on Twitter tomorrow as I do play-by-play commentary.