Stadium officials had to shift their plans after a line of vehicles started to form outside Aloha Stadium ahead of Thursday’s Bruno Mars concert.
By 2:30 p.m., dozens of vehicles were already parked at Gate 3 waiting to enter.
The parking gate wasn’t scheduled to open until 3:30 p.m., but the lot at 3 p.m. to accommodate the waiting cars and alleviate backup. Fortunately, no major traffic tie-ups were reported.
As police officers tried to keep traffic flowing, concert-goers entertained themselves for several hours.
“I have my Prime, my Amazon Prime video, so I’m watching my whole series right now. It’s all good,” said Rocky Paredes of Waianae.
Jayden Ybanez flew in from Hawaii island for the show.
He and his family caught an Uber to Aloha Stadium and got dropped off at around 3 p.m.
“We kind of figured it would be really packed because of all the traffic, so we decided to come early, and we knew the parking would be pretty bad,” he said. “I’m actually pretty excited for the Bruno Mars concert. It’s a really good atmosphere. I’m really glad I came down for this.”
Officials say 6,000 parking stalls at Aloha Stadium will fill up in the first two hours after the gates open, so they’ve asked 10 schools and businesses to help with alternate parking lots.
Prices vary from $10 to $16 and you are advised to bring cash.
Ticket holders can park and shuttle over, but for the communities and other drivers who are not attending the concert, they should be aware of the traffic changes.
“They will be doing intermittent exit closures, so if the traffic backs up really badly, they will be forcing traffic to go down to the next exit,” said Aloha Stadium deputy manager Ryan Andrews. “There’s only so many arteries and roads that feed the stadium, so knowing that it’s going to back up, we want people to be patient.”
Officials say there should be enough stalls for the 36,000 concert-goers.
More than 400 parking spaces next to the stadium at Stadium Marketplace were made available for $16. Do not be confused with the parking lot where Ice Palace is in Stadium Mall. That’s not an alternate parking site.
Stadium Mall parking attendant Jason Short tells us by lunchtime, he already had to turn away dozens of ticket holders looking for parking.
“I’ve actually seen people park in the cul de sac and take an Uber to work,” said Short, “just so they have parking.”
Stadium Mall warns that only paying customers are allowed to park there, and parking attendants will make sure of it. However, they expect some people will eat at one of the restaurants and then walk over.
“We can’t necessarily avoid that. They are a paying customer,” said Cristina Watariea, Stadium Mall administrator.
Stadium Camellia says reservations at certain times for dinner have been booked because of the concert.
“I’m just excited for more revenue for our restaurant. Word of mouth that we’re good, we taste good,” said server Shawn Dulatre.
Once you pass the hurdle of parking, you have to go through security. For a big event like this, safety measures have increased.
The bomb squad and other agencies were seen making their rounds. Even event workers and caterers had to go through security checks and metal detection.
“It’s really high security in wake of a lot of things happening on the mainland, but I feel very safe,” said caterer Ashley Uahinui of Bake You A Smile Hawaii. “Come early, come prepared, and just bring your patience. Remember what you’re coming here for.”
The state has canceled all lane closures in the area on concert nights, and the city says it will be monitoring traffic.
Turnstiles into the stadium open at 5:30 p.m. with the concert slated to run from 7 to 11 p.m.