Saturday, February 10, 2001
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Posted on: Saturday, February 10, 2001

Time for Hawai'i to cash in

By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Staff Writer

Gov. Ben Cayetano thinks it’s time Hawaii joined the nationwide trend of renaming big sporting arenas for a fistful of dollars. He’s even got a corporate sponsor in mind already.

"How about Sony Aloha Stadium?" the governor suggested. "That might bring in a few bucks."

Which just goes to show you how well-meaning, but limited, the governor’s imagination really is. Just about anybody these days can sell their stadium name to a giant international corporation for a few bucks. There’s 3-Com and Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. San Diego has Qualcomm Park, Arizona has Bankone Stadium and Chicago has the United Center. Even Oregon State University recently renamed its stadium after one of its alumni, Al Reser, who gave a $5 million donation to the stadium.

So Cayetano isn’t that off base here, but surely we can come up with a more appropriate sponsor than Sony. We don’t need any outside help when we have plenty of businesses right here that could benefit from strategic alliance with the stadium. Now, we here at The Advertiser, America’s most commercially named newspaper, know a thing or two about this, and we envision a huge bidding war for the stadium naming rights if the state, and the University of Hawaii, play their cards right. Think of the possibilities for what used to be just Aloha:

Fun International’s "Gaming Is Good for Education" Stadium. Given all the betting that already goes on at UH football games, this seems a perfect fit. They’ve got the gaming and we’ve got the game.

Rainbow State Paint Park for the Rainbows. This, of course, might not sit so well with UH football Coach June Jones, who is trying to do away with the old Rainbow connection. But, hey, if the idea is to make money, we say go ’Bows. Think of all the exciting new color schemes we can use on the chairs and concourses, too.

OHA Stadium. What the heck. The OHA trustees seem interested in buying just about everything else in Hawaii — and they seem to have the money to do it.

Zippy’s Park & Go. The ultimate drive-in place. The gates would be open 24 hours a day for tailgating.

Halawa High-Security Facility. With prison guards taking over management of the new stadium, we’d quickly see an end to all those drunken brawls in the stands.

The Rustoleum Bowl. Everybody knows by now that rust is the only thing holding the stadium together. What an opportunity for America’s best-known rust-fighting business to market its brand name in creative new ways.

Aloha Airlines Terminal 3. They could always lose the visiting team’s luggage or divert their flight to Kona.

Mike Leidemann’s columns appear Thursdays and Saturdays in the Advertiser. He can be reached by phone (525-5460) or e-mail (

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