Stadium-area traffic flows
well on a very busy day

Between an afternoon University of Hawaii football game and the first weekend of holiday shopping, police and Aloha Stadium officials were braced for a difficult traffic situation in Halawa yesterday, but it never materialized.

"It's looking beautiful," Aloha Stadium parking supervisor Engel Garcia said at 11:15 a.m. as gates opened and cars streamed into stadium parking.

By noon, early arrivals had their canopies set up and their hibachis going.

Then the rain came.

Steven Kegley of Halawa noted with satisfaction that the tarp that usually keeps the sun off his family and friends in their customary Lower Halawa parking spot was doing a good job shedding the heavy rain.

The rain caused a few minor parking lot accidents, but nothing major, said Honolulu Police Lt. Ben Ballesteros. "Things went pretty smoothly," he said.

The standard number of 100 Aloha Stadium employees and 25 to 30 police worked parking yesterday, officials said.

But because of the turnout of Alabama fans last year, TheBus sent 10 Football Express buses to Waikiki, more than for any other out-of-town team, said Lowell Tom, Oahu Transit Services schedule supervisor.

Steve and Cherry Lambert of Athens, Georgia, were among the hundreds of Alabama fans who scheduled Hawaiian vacations around yesterday's game.

There'd be more Alabama fans here, Steve Lambert said, but "Alabama fans can't figure out how to bring their campers to Hawaii."

Despite a lifetime of loyalty to Alabama, he said, "To be honest I'm figuring they've got a real good chance to lose this ballgame."

He pointed to player injuries, changes in coaches and team probation as factors in Alabama's 4-8 season.

That outcome would be fine with a gathering of Kailua friends that wore "Poi Pounders Pride" T-shirts from last year's game, hoping to make good this year on the shirt's promise to "Hama 'Bama."


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