Lower UH campus to be closed for private party
The lower campus of University of Hawaii at Manoa will be closed to vehicles and foot traffic Saturday for a Toyota dealers convention that will include a private Aerosmith concert.
The UH Athletic Department will be paid $500,000 for the use of Stan Sheriff Center, Les Murakami Stadium and Cooke Field under a policy allowing private rental of university facilities.
Some 10,000 people are expected at the Toyota Motor Sales USA National Dealer Meeting, which will open Friday at the Hawaii Convention Center. They will be brought by bus to the Saturday business meeting in the 10,000-seat UH indoor arena. Tents will be set up on Cooke Field for food service. The baseball stadium will be the scene of exhibits, including display of 2008 Toyota models, and an evening concert by the popular rock band.
An internal campus advisory indicated yesterday that the university will try to ban access to the entire quarry area from 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday, thwarting any Aerosmith fans who might seek a distant sound of the band.
The announcement from Kathleen Cutshaw, UH vice chancellor for administration, finance and operations, said the multistory quarry parking garage will be closed. Parking lots outside the Music Building and the William S. Richardson School of Law will be closed after 8 a.m. Saturday.
Pedestrians will not be allowed to use stairways from Dole Street dormitories to the lower campus. A shuttle service will transport students from the Dorm Access Road to the corner of University Avenue and King Street to accommodate people who usually cut through the lower campus to reach Moiliili.
"There will be no stopping, standing, sitting or loitering along Lower Campus Road," said the Cutshaw memo. "Any individuals not invited by the outside corporation will be asked to leave the area."
University sports events, most notably the Wahine volleyball team schedule, were planned to accommodate the Toyota contract. "We were able to be proactive to clear the space," said Carl Clapp, associate athletic director.
"It's revenue that will allow us to continue to meet a challenging budget," Clapp said.
UH spokesman Gregg Takayama said it is the first time such an extensive area has been rented for exclusive private use. The Stan Sheriff Center has been used several times by church groups and other organizations, and private groups have held meetings in auditoriums on campus. It is a Board of Regents policy to create opportunity for rental of facilities, Takayama said.
"Athletics are expected to be as self-sufficient as possible," he said.
The weekend convention will celebrate Toyota USA's 50th anniversary of vehicle sales.
"Our dealers are independent franchise owners with no other occasion to get together with each other," said Cindy Knight, marketing and communications manager. "Hawaii is one of our favorite destinations."
Toyota USA's annual dealers meeting was held in Honolulu in 1974, 1976, 1983 and 1991, and Lexus dealers met on Maui in 2000. Hawaii dealers were invited to attend the convention, although Servco Pacific Inc. is not affiliated with Toyota Motor Sales USA.