McKinley Tigers dreaming of on-campus football stadium

Adding lighting and bleachers to the football/soccer/track and field facility is part of the vision at McKinley.

Roosevelt, Kaiser, Moanalua, Radford.

Most city schools of Honolulu have on-campus stadiums for football, soccer and track and field. Farrington dedicated its stadium in 2017.

McKinley, which began as Fort Street English Day School in 1865, hopes to be next. McKinley is one of the few high schools left in Hawaii that doesn’t have lights on its football/soccer field. There are no bleachers for Tiger fans and visiting spectators, either.

That could change. The school hopes to begin moving forward with a first step today at the Ala Moana/Kakaako Neighborhood Board virtual meeting. The Department of Education and McKinley Principal Ron Okamura will provide testimony on the potential for a facility — an on-campus stadium.

“The best-case scenario would be having a stadium with lights,” McKinley Athletic Director Bob Morikuni said. “It would be a good thing.”

The Neighborhood Board meeting begins 6:30 p.m. The online link is here.

The blessing of the Neighborhood Board is a must, but there is already precedent. McKinley has a pristine softball stadium, comprised of lights with bleachers behind home plate and dugouts down the lines. The Oahu Interscholastic Association and the Hawaii High School Athletic Association have utilized the facility with success. State-tournament games at the site have been popular.

Former McKinley Athletic Director Neal Takamori began the process before retiring in 2012. At that time, the Neighborhood Board decided against the idea of a stadium. The current field for soccer, football and track and field was renovated in recent years, but there is no seating for spectators.

Currently, high schools from Campbell to Kahuku are benefiting from state funding for improvements to facilities.

The Tigers are hoping to have a place that is spectator-friendly for families and students. Morikuni noted that there is ample parking on campus.

“We have three exits on King Street that we utilize for large events, and one exit on Pensacola Street,” he said.

The prospect of towering stadium lights is another potential issue. At Roosevelt, Saturday football games kick off at 3 p.m. to reduce the impact during the evening. The junior varsity and varsity games are competed before 9 p.m.


  1. Show Aloha October 27, 2020 6:24 pm

    Whatever happened to “For the sake of the children?”. Other schools have stadiums near residents and they play at night. They are not asking to have evening events with crowds every single night. Just build it.

  2. Ken Anama ‘82 October 29, 2020 2:22 am

    Pose the question to the condo owners and the Board, “Who was here first?”

  3. Whatsamattau October 29, 2020 6:55 am

    D.O.E. does things Arse backwards, but hope Tigers get a stadium….

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