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DIESELMAN
03-07-2006, 12:15 AM
Aloha Stadium's top management wants to upgrade the sports complex so the state can make a credible bid to host the Super Bowl in 2016.

Kevin Chong Kee, chairman of the stadium's nine-member policymaking board, and acting Stadium Manager Kenneth Lum are convinced that the planned $129 million stadium makeover could help lure the National Football League's 50th Super Bowl to Hawaii.

They said that would give the state about 10 years to plan and build 32 luxury suites and add 10,000 more seats to satisfy NFL requirements for hosting a Super Bowl at the 50,000-seat stadium.

Chong Kee and Lum said they raised the idea with NFL executives who were in Honolulu during the week of the Feb. 12 Pro Bowl.

"It was something we threw out," Chong Kee said. "We were told we would need a minimum of 32 box seats for the owners and at least 60,000 seats."

Lum was quick to add that NFL executives made no promises.

"But I think we should aspire to it," he said.

Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, acknowledged that Aloha Stadium management has informally pitched the idea to the league. McCarthy said he wouldn't rule out the possibility of a Super Bowl in Hawaii, but described it as a long shot.

"I certainly would never say never, but there are a number of cities on the Mainland that would love to host a Super Bowl," McCarthy said.

For Honolulu to seriously enter the mix, the stadium would first have to permanently lock its movable stands into a football configuration. That is the only way that the decaying, 30-year-old structure could support the extra weight from 32 luxury suites and at least 10,000 more seats, according to a stadium planning study commissioned by the state.

The configuration issue also frames the debate in the stadium's boardroom about how to renovate the facility.

Board members don't agree on which of three options to choose for the renovation: keep the stadium's current multipurpose design by having movable stands to accommodate football, baseball and other sports; lock the stadium in a baseball configuration; or lock it in a football configuration.

According to a planning study, the football configuration would offer the best revenue potential for the stadium. But there is sentiment on the board and among the stadium's senior staff for the flexibility that the current multipurpose design offers and the opportunities that the baseball configuration presents.
A permanent baseball configuration appears to have the fewest supporters, especially when 98 percent of the stadium's attendance comes from football games.

State Comptroller Russ K. Saito, whose Department of Accounting and General Services oversees the stadium's $6 million annual budget, said it doesn't make sense to lock the stadium in a configuration that wouldn't work for football. The Pro Bowl alone generates an estimated $39 million for the local economy.

"You don't want to mess with the configuration and make the NFL not want to come here to play the game," Saito said. "It makes sense to lock the stadium into the football configuration."

Saito said the stadium's board will soon have to make a decision on the configuration issue. Gov. Linda Lingle has asked the Legislature for $25 million to begin designing and renovating the stadium by July 1.

The state is looking to make the repairs over a five-year period, between February and September of each year. The total cost to taxpayers could be an estimated $129 million, Saito said.

Among the payoffs of a freshly renovated stadium would be the chance to compete to host a Super Bowl, Chong Kee said. The NFL is committed only to 2010 for its Super Bowl sites.

"But it starts with addressing the repairs to the stadium," he said. "We have to make sure it's something we're proud to present to the NFL."

While the idea may sound farfetched to some, others remember that no one ever envisioned the stadium ever hosting the Pro Bowl or concerts featuring superstars like Janet Jackson and Frank Sinatra.

"That's why you build these facilities," said Jim Donovan, president of M2C Inc., the local company that manages the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

"They give you possibilities. What's important is for Hawaii to be known for its first-class facilities. If you make the improvements, that puts the Super Bowl in play. Whether you get the Super Bowl remains to be seen, but if you don't make the improvements, we won't get the Super Bowl."

Petesburgh66
03-07-2006, 12:40 AM
Sooner or later the SB will be in Hawaii. The suits would write off the trip.

HburgXL06
03-07-2006, 12:48 AM
It would be a better place than Kansas City. Where would you rather go in February? It will happen at some point. It's just a matter of time. Peace.

BuFu

BlackNGold203
03-07-2006, 06:58 AM
They can hold the thing in Montana as far as I'm concerned....as long as the Steelers are playing in it...:)

83-Steelers-43
03-07-2006, 07:27 AM
It would be a better place than Kansas City. Where would you rather go in February? It will happen at some point. It's just a matter of time. Peace.

BuFu

If I'm going to watch the largest football event in the world I would rather go to a city where NFL football is actually played and has a deep history. If I want to go to the Pro-Bowl or on a vacation, I'll go to Hawaii. Just my two cents.

Ambridge
03-07-2006, 09:17 AM
I heard a discussion not too long ago on ESPN Sports Radio that with the NFL trying to grow an cultivate an International Fan Base don't be surprised that if sometime in the distant future that the Superbowl will be held outside of the United States.

London, Paris and Tokyo were the cities mentioned as possible candidates.

I hope that I've lived a long life and never have to witness a Superbowl in a foreign land.

83-Steelers-43
03-07-2006, 09:53 AM
I hope that I've lived a long life and never have to witness a Superbowl in a foreign land.

You and I both.

HburgXL06
03-07-2006, 10:27 AM
The NFL is denying its overly loyal fanbase if they do that and would be completely idiotic. Regular season games in different places would be okay but the Super Bowl is meant to be played on US soil where the teams are from. Peace.

BuFu