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The Conversation

UH Football Settles Into On-Campus Stadium for Next Few Years

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The University of Hawaiʻi football team is about one month away from playing games on campus for the first time in school history.

The state Department of Education and the University of Hawaiʻi are requiring all student-athletes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in sports this school year.

The university says its intention is to create the healthiest and safest environment for all participants during practices, competitions and team travel — it may also require students who attend the games to be vaccinated.

With Aloha Stadium closed, Ching Field at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex in Mānoa will be the football team’s home for at least the next three years.

The Conversation spoke with UH Associate Athletics Director Vince Baldemor about switching to the temporary stadium and what he expects for game days at the new venue.

"Construction is on track. It's exciting. We've got the skyboxes on their way over, the bleachers are all up so we're looking for some additional refinements for the facility," he said. "But we're moving forward."

The team’s first home game of the season is Saturday, Sept. 4, against Portland State.

"Sept. 4 is kind of our end date. That's the goal. We have to play football on Sept. 4, so we're all working forward to that," Baldemor said.

He said the athletics department is excited to showcase everything they've been working on.

"We've got the press boxes, we've got suites that we're going to be putting in there for select groups. The student section's going to be in the end zone, the band will be playing right off the field so the fan atmosphere with the band and with the scoreboard — I think every part of the game should be a new experience," Baldemor told Hawaiʻi Public Radio.

Matt Fairfax was a summer intern on HPR's The Conversation.

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