Ask the Mayor: Why Can’t Outer Islands Host Football Championship Games?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: I was just wondering if someone can answer my question on why the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association State Football Championship game is only hosted on O‘ahu? I feel it would benefit the outer islands to be able to host the championship game because of the revenue it brings in from rental cars, hotels, airfare, etc.
Right now, only Oahu is benefitting from having the game in Aloha Stadium, and outer island teams and team supporters are forced to spend a lot more money compared to O‘ahu teams just to be in the championship game. Outer island teams needs to be given a chance to host a championship game to make it fair for the players and the community. I just hope to get some answers on why this is not possible.
Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you and aloha.
A: For the record, I too would like to watch a state football championship game on Maui, but that might not be happening anytime soon, according to the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association.
My office forwarded your question to the HHSAA, and this is what they said:
“The majority of the football revenue is distributed back to the schools. So any loss of revenue would negatively impact the high schools directly. We are expecting a crowd of 25,000-plus on game night. If this game was played on another island, the crowd would not be nearly as large. This would amount to loss revenue for the schools, which they depend on to meet their transportation budget at the end of the year.
“If we just move the D2 game, we would not know which island to host the game on. Championship games take weeks to plan. The hosting island might not have a team in the final, which would impact the gate.
“Teams love playing at Aloha Stadium. This year, Hilo and Baldwin surrendered their chance to host so they could play at Aloha Stadium and on TV in front of the entire state. If the D2 game is moved away from the D1 game, the D2 teams would not get a chance to play on TV and at Aloha Stadium.
“This year, basketball is being moved to the Neighbor Islands and rather than being happy, the Neighbor Island schools are complaining because they won’t get to play at Stan Sheriff Center and be on TV.
Also, flights are limited on the Neighbor Islands, and most of the football playing schools are on O‘ahu: 30 of the 46 are on O‘ahu. There has been no movement to move football to the neighbor islands by the neighbor islands unlike in other sports.”
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.