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Hula Bowl returning to Aloha Stadium after 11-year hiatus

  • HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER / 2008

    Aina’s Carlton Powell (89) plowed through Kai defenders Wilrey Fontenot (32), left, and Jacob Patek (36) in the first quarter of the Hula Bowl at Aloha Stadium.

The Aloha Stadium Authority today approved a date for the return of the Hula Bowl college all-star football game, once the state’s longest-running sports attraction, to the facility for 2020.

By a unanimous vote, the Authority granted approval for a Jan. 25 or 26, 2020 date.

If operational details are finalized, it would mark the resumption of what had been in its heyday one of the state’s most popular events after an 11-year absence. The last Hula Bowl was played at Aloha Stadium in 2008 and drew a crowd estimated at 2,000.

The game debuted in 1947 at Honolulu Stadium and moved to Aloha Stadium in 1976. It later went to Maui’s War Memorial Stadium (1998-‘05) and back to Aloha Stadium (2006-‘08).

Begun by Mackay Yanagisawa and Paul Stupin in 1947, the game has undergone several changes in owners and operators.

The daughter and son of Nick Logan, the last operator, had announced plans in 2016 to restart the game in 2018 in Raleigh, N. C., with support from the State of North Carolina and its governor But after a change in state administrations there the event never came off.

Former UH and NFL football player Rich Miano, who is the game’s executive director, made the presentation to the Stadium Authority and said he is in talks attempting to secure a national TV deal and national presenting sponsor.

Miano told the Stadium Authority plans are to have to prominent former NFL head coaches handling the Kai and Aina teams playing under NFL rules.

In addition to U.S. players, Miano said he hoped to have two players each from Japan and Australia.

Stadium Authority member Mike Iosua, a former UH lineman, said he played in the 2002 game and thanked Miano for trying to revive the game. “I’m very excited to have the Hula Bowl back,” Iosua said.

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