Vote on alcohol ban delayed
The Stadium Authority wants more time to consider public input
The Aloha Stadium Authority delayed a vote yesterday on a controversial tailgating alcohol ban until next month to give members more time to weigh their decision.
The ban would affect drinking in the parking lot before and after all high school and regular-season college football games. It would not affect the post-season Hawaii Bowl or the Pro Bowl. Alcohol will continue to be sold inside the stadium.
"I think looking at board members' faces, we weren't ready to proceed," said Stadium Authority Chairman Kevin Chong Kee. "This is a hard issue to deal with."
The vote is now scheduled for the board's next meeting at 10 a.m. Jan. 26 at the stadium conference room.
During the discussion yesterday, two board members -- Alvin Narimatsu and Alex Kane Jr. -- said they opposed the parking lot ban. Two other board members -- Marsha Klompus and Kay Akina -- came out in favor of the ban.
Five votes are needed to pass the rule change.
The other authority members appeared to be leaning toward passing the ban but did not explicitly state a position.
Nelson Oyadomari, chairman of a board subcommittee that proposed the rule change, said even though he is likely to vote yes, he wants more time to digest testimony during Wednesday night's public hearing and the discussion at yesterday's meeting.
Klompus said passing the ban will give stadium security an additional tool to control drunk and rowdy fans and that a safer stadium could attract more families to the games.
Narimatsu said he is concerned about the effect of the ban on attendance and would like to see stricter penalties imposed on those who misbehave at games.
UH athletic director Herman Frazier said the university does not have a position on the tailgate ban. He said the athletic department has heard from fans. Some support it, he said, but more people oppose it and said they thought it would affect ticket sales.
Kane and Narimatsu said if safety is an issue, the alcohol ban should also apply to sales inside the stadium and during the Hawaii Bowl and Pro Bowl. Narimatsu suggested that the board consider a complete ban rather than a partial ban.
However, Klompus said if the tailgate alcohol ban works in reducing fights at the stadium, it might not be necessary to impose further alcohol bans.
Stadium security chief Herbert Naone told the board that police have not taken a position on the alcohol ban.
Naone said high-ranking members of the force, while off duty, like to tailgate with alcohol, as do many members of the public.
He said he and the police are waiting to see what the board does before coming up with an enforcement plan.
After the meeting, Naone said enforcement is likely to start off with education and a warning, rather than strictly checking to see what is in people's cups.