Spicy Travel

Sports in Paradise: Sports Fans Benefit from Hawaii’s Turf and Surf

Hawaii provides sports fans opportunities to see major events such as NCAA basketball tournaments, Division One sports, NBA training and surfing championships.

When people think about traveling to Hawaii, going to see sporting events is often an afterthought. People don’t know realize that you can see a great football game AND go frolic in the sun on the beach for hours.

It’s hard to say if a blessing or a curse, but Hawaii has no professional sports teams on any of their islands. It’s a blessing because that leaves all major venues throughout the state unoccupied and free for events like the Pro Bowl, Lakers Training camp, and University of Hawaii sporting events. It’s a curse because there are no professional sports teams to rely on to generate revenue and excitement on the islands.

During the holidays time, a number of college basketball tournaments are held that feature some of the country’s best teams. The Maui Invitational, held Nov. 19-21, 2018, features Duke, Gonzaga, Xavier, Auburn, Arizona State, Illinois, Iowa State and San Diego State. The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, held Dec. 22-25, features UNLV, Colorado, Hawaii, TCU, Rhode Island and others.

The University of Hawaii located in downtown Honolulu is a Division One university offering a wide array of men’s and women’s sports. The revitalized football program is currently 5-1, off to their best start in recent years. The men’s basketball team is competitive. Women’s volleyball has been traditionally dominant, making NCAA tournament appearances every year for the last 23 years, and it’s one of the few schools with beach volleyball. No matter your passion, Hawaii athletics has something out there for you to enjoy with athletes that compete hard.

If the collegiate level isn’t doing it for you, Hawaii is home to the next generation of football talent. The Tua Tagovailoa’s and Marcus Mariotta’s alike, can all be found at different high schools throughout the island. In fact, high school football is such a big deal that it is played often at Aloha Stadium when the field is not in use. You can easily keep track of Hawaiian high school football by following the local show cover2. It is usually inexpensive to attend these games, and tickets can be purchased right at the game in cash. Baseball is also huge too, Hawaii has won the little league world three times, most recently being in 2019.

Finally, if you don’t want to watch local sports or a professional team that visits the island, then get out and play! Hawaii is nice because there are mountains to hike or oceans to surf and swim. There is always a way to be active and get your sports fill.

You can attend world-renowned surfing events. Check out the schedule here for events that are happening for the rest of 2018.

By Rashawn Wong
Sports Salsa


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