Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Friday, October 25, 1996

Aloha Stadium’s policy is not
to search fans’ bags

QUESTION: We went to the University of Hawaii football game at Aloha Stadium on Oct. 19. There are signs saying no outside food is allowed into the stadium, but we were offended by the manner in which security guards were searching through our purses and bags. If they are going to have searches, they should say so. Also, if they search one bag, shouldn't they do it for everyone? People going through other gates were not searched. We have been going to UH football games for 20 years, and this is the first time this has happened.

ANSWER: You should not have had your bags searched, says stadium general manager Edwin Hayashi.

"Our policy is not to search or order people to open their bags, but to ask in a nice way what they have in their bags," he said. "If they refuse, we cannot order them to open their bags."

The stadium hopes that over time, people will begin to respond to the policy of not bringing in outside food and/or coolers. The main concern, especially at UH games, is with safety, he said. Cans of beer or soda are potential "weapons" if thrown on the field or from the top levels of the stadium, he said.

Hayashi also said a concessionaire pays for exclusive rights to sell food in the stadium. He acknowledged past complaints about the food, but "this year, we are trying to upgrade the quality and quantity." There is a wider variety of food, including plate lunches, fried noodles and andagi, and sushi also may be added to the menu, he said.

Hayashi took this opportunity to plug the stadium, saying UH football fans now can come early to games, buy food and watch live entertainment at the north and south ends of the stadium. There also will be a half-hour program on UH players shown on the Jumbotron electronic sign, he said.

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