Rugby enthusiasts in Hawaii can look forward to an exciting two-day event later this summer.
The Western Union Ohana Cup 2016 Rugby League Festival takes place at Aloha Stadium on Aug. 19 and 20.
The first day, Friday, Aug. 19, features a pregame concert featuring Willie K, Kapena, Siaosi, and Nesian Nine, a meet-and-greet with the players, food vendors and more.
Then on Saturday, Aug. 20, teams compete for the Ohana Cup: NSW Police vs. Hawaii Chiefs, Fiji vs. Canada, and Samoa vs. Tonga.
“We create a pit atmosphere, so what we do is we pull everybody off field except the players and the referee. So you really have a bird’s-eye view of everything that is going on. There’s no obstructions, no obstacles, so you feel like you’re in the game. It’s almost like hockey,” explained Kelly McGill, Grand Pacific Events president and former USA Tomahawk Rugby league player. “We wanted to create that intimate experience so people could lean over, talk to the players as they’re coming off. I think seeing this event that way will really create fans or just re-energize people who are already fans.”
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 1420AM and stream online here.
Tickets go on sale July 1 at the Aloha Stadium box office. They will also be available at most Moral, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) offices on military bases across the island.
Prices: $40 two-day passes, which include general admission to the concert and game, and single-event tickets ($25 adults, $20 military with valid ID, $15 keiki under 12 years old). Keiki ages 5 and under are free.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health), which provides organizational framework for after-school programs for students grades 6-8.
Friday, Aug. 19
- 4:30-7:30 p.m. – Cultural festival, meet-and-greet, team captain’s run, flag-raising
- 7:30-10:30 p.m. – Live concert featuring Willie K, Kapena, Nesian Nine, Siaosi
Saturday, Aug. 20
- 2-5 p.m. – Cultural festival, youth rugby
- 5-10 p.m. – Matches
- NSW Police vs. Hawaii Chiefs
- Fiji vs. Canada
- Samoa vs. Tonga