Swap meet will move on game day


POSTED: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The University of Hawaii athletic director sees two impacts — one definite and one possible — from Aloha Stadium's decision to move swap meet dates from Saturdays shared by UH football games.

Jim Donovan said yesterday he had not been officially informed of the move, but Marcia Klompus of the stadium authority said yesterday the board has voted unanimously to offer swap meet vendors Fridays instead of Saturdays during six conflicting weeks this fall.

“;I think the biggest impact is on the traffic on game days,”; Donovan said. “;It allows for the possibility that the parking lot might be opened a little earlier. I don't know if it will be; that's really a stadium decision. But it would allow for that.

“;One of the biggest problems is you've got all those people outside to come in when the parking gates open ... and you've got all the customers and vendors from the swap meet trying to exit before that same time. You've got a tremendous amount of traffic being dumped into the streets around the stadium, right near the gates opening for UH parking. So that would be completely eliminated, and should have a positive impact on the traffic and parking situation overall.”;

The stadium's main gate has traditionally opened at 2:30 p.m. for football patrons, with the lower Halawa gate opening at 1:30.

The other impact, Donovan said, could be movement in some kickoff times — although he doubted any times will change this fall. UH home games usually start just after 6 p.m., and earlier starts could mean a sunlight problem.

“;For the people not sitting under cover, it can get pretty hot. All things being equal, we'll probably leave the times where they're at for now,”; he said. “;It would probably be something for a follow-on season. My gut reaction right now would be if there are no swap meets on game days, likely the game times will be the same this year. But it's something we could take a look at.”;

The shift in swap meet Saturdays was voted on only for this year, Klompus said. Past swap meets on UH football Saturdays were abbreviated from their usual ending time of 3 p.m., so it made sense to make the shift on a trial basis, she said.

“;We want to see how it works out. We want to see whatever else can be done,”; Klompus said. “;We certainly don't want to take away anything from the swap. We were trying to balance both.”;

Bids are in for a new swap meet contract, with the winner expected to be announced Thursday.