Busy weekend expected at the Blaisdell

After months of anticipation and a ticket sale frenzy, Hawaii’s own Bruno Mars performed Friday at the Blaisdell Arena. It was the first of three sold-out Hawaii shows.

The concert isn’t the only event expected to draw crowds to Neal S. Blaisdell Center this weekend. The Hawaii Business Expo kicked off Friday in the Exhibition Hall and continues Saturday and Sunday. Also on Saturday, comedienne Anjelah Johnson will perform two shows at the Concert Hall.

In all, more than 16,000 people are expected at the Blaisdell and, with only 1,467 self parking stalls on the property, parking will be a challenge.

On Friday, concert goers who arrived at 6:30 p.m. still managed to find a space. “It wasn’t too bad,” said Caryl Nishioka. “We were expecting to see the lot full sign. It wasn’t there, so we drove in.”

But the lot filled shortly after 7 p.m. and subsequent drivers were turned away. The concert started at 8 p.m.

“We’re not worried (about parking),” said Hawaii Business Expo PR director Nicholas Haigler. “I would say those who are trying to make it to the Bruno Mars show should worry about the parking.”

Diamond Parking, which operates Blaisdell’s lot, advises drivers to arrive early Saturday. It costs $6 to park at the Blaisdell before 5 p.m. After that, the price goes up to $7.

If the lot is full, other options include street parking or McKinley High School for $5. A small structure across the Blaisdell offers parking for $15.

Concert goers are also encouraged to take a taxi, TheBus or get dropped off instead.

Parking shouldn’t be a problem Sunday for the Hawaii Business Expo, but on Monday night, crowds are expected once again as Mars performs the final Hawaii concert for his Moonshine Jungle Tour.

Regular daily parking will not be allowed at the Blaisdell Monday to accommodate concert goers.

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