Traffic and long lines are nothing new for the Pro Bowl.
But some football fans say Sunday’s struggle to get into Aloha Stadium was a nightmare.
KHON2 spoke with fans who said they waited over an hour to get into the parking lot and stadium, with some missing a big chunk of the game.
“Every entrance to get into the stadium was terrible. I mean cars weren’t even moving,” said Nicky Chapin. “We missed like half of the first half. So we got situated in our seats, it was a done deal already.”
Final attendance numbers haven’t been released, but the game sold out days before kickoff.
So what happened? KHON2 reached out to the NFL, Aloha Stadium, and the state Department of Transportation to see if they were looking into why it took so long for fans to get into the stadium.
Only the DOT responded with specific answers. A spokesman says the department didn’t have any construction or lane closures in the area to minimize impact on traffic.
But some fans still waited hours in traffic, and without any notice that the main parking lot was closed. The DOT says it’s up to the Stadium Authority and the event organizer to make sure traffic is flowing, and to make sure people get into the stadium.
Jeffrey Wansart took his boys to the game. Even though they got there early, they still had to wait. “We got here between 10:30 and 11 (a.m.) and it took us about 45 minutes still, so if you want to get in right away with no hassle, you gotta come right away as soon as possible.”
Aloha Stadium officials told KHON2 that the NFL takes over the turnstiles for the Pro Bowl and that the rules are different than any other event that’s held there. Each fan that came in the gates was subject to a bag search, as well as being wanded by security.
Deshonta Meares said she thought there just weren’t enough people working to get fans in. “Everything was smooth, but it was really slow because they only had two people scanning people to make sure they didn’t have anything they weren’t supposed to have,” she said.
An NFL rep said he’d pass the information given to him by KHON2 on to the appropriate parties.
The Stadium Authority said its manager was in meetings Monday, but it plans to meet with NFL officials.