By “Awake!” correspondent in Hawaii
SPORTS fans earth wide are keenly aware of the variety of new stadiums and sports arenas constructed in many major cities. Such facilities are often of interest to Jehovah’s Witnesses also. This is not because of an overwhelming involvement in sports, but because each year they use stadiums and large arenas to hold Christian assemblies. All over the globe tens of thousands gather at these conventions to receive practical instruction in applying God’s Word in their lives and to observe the costumed reenactment of gripping Bible dramas.
Thus, there was interest from various quarters in the September 1975 opening of a new open-air sports stadium in Hawaii. The Honolulu Star Bulletin quoted its architect as saying: “The people here are going to have a revolutionary type of stadium. There is no other like it in the world.” What makes it unique?
One thing that attracts much attention is the fact that the $27,000,000 stadium has movable grandstands. Four large steelframed grandstand sections can move on “air cushions” over concrete runways to adapt the stadium’s configuration for football or baseball games, theatrical presentations and large rallies and conventions. You can imagine what a marvel it is to have a stadium with a seating capacity of 50,000 that can be arranged at will—the rest rooms, snack bars and other normal facilities moving right along with the grandstands containing them.
Another feature that holds many delightful possibilities is the scoreboard system. Rather than being designed to display merely the score and statistics of a game, this new scoreboard includes the capacity to reproduce images on a huge screen. Any image taken by the numerous video cameras trained on the playing field can be displayed on the screen for most of the audience to see. Sports fans may immediately see its potential in connection with instant replays of crucial moments during games. But the scoreboard could also be employed to display a person giving a talk or to project, on a large scale, any entertainment or action on a stage, all the while being synchronized with the stadium’s sound system.
Such development certainly testifies to the interesting potentials for gatherings, whether for sports, entertainment or education.