The parking lot of a Honolulu stadium has become the temporary home for rental vehicles that have been idled following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
A stadium official said 1,000 to 1,500 vehicles are expected to be stored at Aloha Stadium, the state’s largest outdoor arena that has 6,000 parking stalls, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.
“It’s what’s on the road versus what they can store,” Aloha Stadium Manager Scott Chan said.
Because of their limited parking capacity, representatives from a consortium of five rental car companies contacted stadium officials last week and the first vehicles were moved to the stadium’s lot Thursday, Chan said.
“They’re paying us,” Chan said. “We have administrative rules to enforce.”
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, Hawaii’s incident commander for the state’s COVID-19 response, announced last week that sites were under consideration to serve as distribution points for toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other high demand items to relieve pressure on retailers and ensure that products reach senior citizens.
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. But for the elderly and people with existing conditions, it can cause more severe illness. The vast majority of those who are infected recover.
Chan believes this is the first time in Aloha Stadium’s 45-year history that the parking lot has been pressed into service to store rental vehicles.
“I don’t think it was ever necessary,” Chan said.