Chicago Cubs: Low risk for Cubs and MLB to play in Hawaii
Chicago Cubs: Fields of dreams in Hawaii
The biggest issue with playing in the islands is the lack of professional fields. The best fields belong to the local colleges like the University of Hawaii who play at Les Murakami Stadium in the City and County of Honolulu. Here’s how the Les Murakami Stadium compares to Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Les Murakami Stadium – Leftfield (325 feet), Center (385 feet), Rightfield (325 feet), Capacity 4,312
Wrigley Field – Leftfield (355 feet), Center (400 feet), Rightfield (353 feet), Capacity 41,649
Les Murakami Stadium is actually longer than Fenway Park, so the only work that would have to be done is expanding the seating capacity. There are no bleacher or outfield seats at Les Murakami Stadium, so that is certainly a way to add capacity.
Of course, Aloha Stadium, which has hosted the Pro Bowl for many years and hosted the only MLB game ever played on the island, would be needed. Again, there would need to be some conversions done but nothing too drastic to get the historic Hawaii stadium ready for ‘The Show’.
With a 50,000 person capacity, Hawaii singing, ‘Take me out to the ball game’ in Aloha Stadium all properly socially distanced, would be history.
The Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai most likely have two to three parks that could host games, so MLB can split itself up among the islands (as long as the Cubs play on Oahu).
Between the four islands (including Oahu), that would give MLB about 12 parks that it could play about 2-3 games on a day.
On June 16, the Governor of Hawaii approved inter-island travel to begin again among the islands. This means that teams could fly the 45-minute flight to play on neighbor Hawaii islands and break up the league, so it is not concentrated on one island.
Sure there will be teams that don’t draw big crowds, but all the California teams would be sell-outs for sure and could be split up among the islands to entice ticket sales. There are also big Texas, Atlanta, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs fans on the island; most would buy season tickets immediately.
In 2008 and 2018, Hawaii kids won the title of Little League World Champions. This year, it was recently announced the Little League World Championship was canceled due to the virus. No doubt the kids will head back to the field when it’s safe so they can try and win in 2021. It’s nestled in this type of life-long love for the game, in communities that eat, sleep and breathe baseball that MLB could possibly find a home this season.