The Maui Invitational is relocating to Honolulu

FILE - Texas forward Jericho Sims (20) and North Carolina forward Armando Bacot (5) tip off for the start of an NCAA college basketball game for the championship of the Maui Invitational, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Asheville, N.C. The Maui Invitational will be played in Honolulu this year because of the wildfire that devastated Lahaina where the tournament usually is played. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, File)

The Maui Invitational will be held in Honolulu this year because of the wildfires that devastated Lahaina, where the tournament usually is played.

Games will be played at the Stan Sheriff Center on Hawaii’s campus on Nov. 20-22 and the tournament will again feature a loaded field that includes potential top-10 teams Kansas, Purdue, Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette. Syracuse, Chaminade and UCLA round out the field.

This is the third time in four years the tournament has had to be played somewhere other than Maui. Restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic forced tournament officials to move the event to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2020 and it was relocated to Las Vegas in 2021.

The tournament actually began in Honolulu in 1982 when Chaminade, then an NAIA school, beat top-ranked Virginia in what is still considered one of the sport’s greatest upsets.

“We are disappointed that we could not make the Lahaina Civic Center available for the Maui Invitational this year, but we are thankful the tournament is staying in Hawaii,” Maui Mayor Richard Bissen said in a statement. “We appreciate everything the Maui Invitational is doing to help Maui and its residents.”

Tickets purchased for the tournament in Maui will be honored. More tickets will go on sale next month at Fans who bought travel packages will be offered similar deals with Honolulu beach hotels.

Also, the Maui Invitational has launched an online auction with all proceeds going directly to relief and recovery efforts. The Hoops for ‘Ohana auction is being conducted in partnership with the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.

Items include autographed basketballs and game tickets, game-used memorabilia and the official Maui Invitational surfboards from 2006-18 that were signed by tournament coaches such Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Kansas’ Bill Self and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo.

The confirmed death toll from last month’s wildfires that tore apart the historic town of Lahaina is 115 people, the nation’s deadliest in more than a century. More than 60 people are still missing.

The Maui Invitational, one of college basketball’s premier events, has long been a source of pride in Lahaina, also a major tourist destination. This year’s tournament field is impressive even by the event’s high standards with the teams having combined for 17 national championships.

“The Maui Invitational is a great event that celebrates all of Hawaii,” Hawaii Governor Josh Green said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming players, staff and fans to Oahu and using the tournament and its international TV audience as a way to bring attention to and raise funds for Maui recovery efforts.”


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  1. Heidi September 18, 2023 1:10 am Reply

    I think politics is some times kind of awkward. They’re using the Maui invitational to build a new football stadium. Where? Pick a spot.

  2. Heidi September 18, 2023 4:31 pm Reply

    I don’t think the tourist industry will be affected. Who’s the guy in charge? Nobody in the real world and up to date on business issues like A new Aloha Stadium and the interest rate, cares about these people. Two thumbs down on the finances of the deal too. I ain’t paying nothing to support some thing stupid as this. You’re looking at bankrupt people in athletics. So not for the jocks because they’re stupid. Just some gal…

  3. Heidi September 19, 2023 2:54 pm Reply

    Also I think now there’s a lot of talk about where the money will come from? Like where UH will get extra money for a new football stadium. Of which I don’t care. It took the old Aloha stadium 16 years to build it. 1959 state hood. They wanted a college football team. There are several reasons why I feel this idea could flop and they may not pass economically.

    1. Sports enthusiast are only in limited amount. So money is coming from them only. If you don’t like sports, then your money is not going to support a football stadium.

    2. Rich people in Hawai’i run the show. If they vote no on football, then lower end poor people must cover the cost with working 3 jobs just to pay taxes for a loser football stadium like Aloha Stadium.

    3. Smarter people in the community can also benefit. They have a share too . They won’t give anything to football.

    These points are real. And active in the real business world.

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