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9 Must-See Local Sporting Events in Honolulu

August 2023

Best Western The Plaza Hotel is always thrilled to welcome families from all parts of the world who choose Honolulu as their vacation destination. You can be out and about all day and come home to a luxurious, comfortable suite. Here’s a sneak peek of the Honolulu, Hawaii sporting events calendar to look forward to:

1. Sony Open

If you find yourself in Honolulu in January, you’re in time for the Sony Open in Hawaii. 144 golf professionals worldwide fly to Waialae Country Club on the island of Oahu for the largest charity golf event annually!

In 1999, the Sony Open in Hawaii generated $256,000 for 43 charities. Now, proceeds reach up to $1.2 million yearly, helping over 100 non-profit organizations. The week-long Honolulu pro sports event is part of the PGA TOUR schedule, so you’re sure to see the world’s best golfers playing at their peak.

Polynesian Football High School All-Star Game

What are high school sports in Honolulu like? Well, the Polynesian Bowl is the best event to tell you! It’s where the world’s top high school football players come together yearly in January during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week.

Besides the best high school football players worldwide, fans can meet NFL Ambassadors such as DeForest Buckner, Haloti Ngata, Michael Bennet, and more. For four years since 2017, the event has been held at the Aloha Stadium, but in 2022, Kūnuiākea Stadium became its new home.

2. Hawaiʻi Bowl

Eager to watch Honolulu college sports? It’s time to head on to the Hawaiʻi Bowl! Established in 2002, the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl is the first non-all-star post-season game in Hawai’i. Its story began when the O’ahu Bowl and the Aloha Bowl were held in Honolulu in December 2000.

The EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl is now part of ESPN and ESPN2’s’ extensive bowl lineup. It has become a December family tradition in Honolulu because of its festive pre-game events, colorful halftime shows, and exciting post-game fireworks.

3. Pacific Rim Cup

If you’re a soccer fan, Honolulu won’t let you down. In February 2018, the Pacific Rim Cup brought professional soccer back to the city for the first time in six years. Since then, the event has brought global professional teams to Aloha Stadium, giving back to Hawaii and its community with its economic impact!

Another interesting thing about the Pacific Rim Cup is that it impacts the lives of local keiki through soccer. The event teaches Honolulu kids about self-esteem and lifestyle through the popular soccer clinic.

4. Diamond Head Classic

There’s basketball in Honolulu, too! Besides hosting games and tournaments with some of the NBA and NCAA top players, the Lēʻahi Head Classic is an early-season Division 1 college basketball tournament every December.

The three-day invitational college basketball tournament brings teams to the Stan Sheriff Center, where they play three games each. If you’re a basketball enthusiast, you’ll be happy to know the tournament gathers excellent teams!

5. Waikiki Cup

Formerly the Hawaii Tennis Open, the Waikiki Cup is a three-day professional tennis event in Honolulu. It was in 2016 when the Hawaii Open started as a WTA 125k tournament, with a 32-player singles draw and 16-team doubles draw. In 2018, the tournament added men’s singles.

After the event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, the tournament returned to the great outdoors as the Waikiki Cup in 2022. This Honolulu sports event allows locals and tourists alike to enjoy professional tennis matches every December!

6. Duke’s OceanFest

Duke’s OceanFest is the place to be for surfers and beach lovers. There are local surfing competitions in Honolulu, special pro-style competitions, paddleboard races, beach volleyball, and more. It hosts a whole week of beach sports and activities every August!

Duke’s OceanFest is undeniably one of the many events that make summers in Hawaii special. It’s also a great way to pay tribute to the legendary waterman and surf legend Duke Paoa Kahanamoku.

7. HIC Pipe Pro

Did you know December is also a fantastic time to surf in Honolulu? The World Surf League brings professional surfers worldwide to O’ahu to compete at the HIC Pipe Pro. Locals and tourists can also enjoy extreme action. The surfing event gathers the best of the best, rising surfing stars, and local heroes of the sport!

8. Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

Hawaiian Pro, Vans World Cup of Surfing, and Billabong Pipe Masters? Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is absolutely one of the must-catch Honolulu sports festivals! Honolulu registers thousands of visitors each year for this surfing event. If you’re up for hours of watching blazing surfers riding some of the wildest waves in the world, you’ll have to be in the city in late November.

9. Honolulu Sports Events Tips

Whether you’re planning to watch pro or amateur sports events in Honolulu, remember that they could be the only chance to see your favorite athletes live! Here are some tips to maximize your Honolulu sports experience:

  • Check the event schedules. Ensure you know specifically when and where they’re taking place. You can visit official websites, secure tickets, and plan your trip accordingly.
  • Be aware of the weather. Honolulu’s sunny tropical weather is a significant reason many sports events are held here. Still, it’s always best to check the forecast before heading out.
  • Remember your sunscreen. With all outdoor sports events, you must apply sunscreen for protection.
  • Have a great time. Finally, sports events are about having fun, so enjoy the match and cheer for your team!

Make Best Western The Plaza Hotel Your Honolulu Home

These nine must-see sporting events in Honolulu will surely make your next Hawaii trip memorable. Best Western The Plaza Hotel is just a few minutes away from all the action and offers excellent accommodations for sports lovers. After a long day cheering for your team, you can come home to the number one traveler’s choice in Honolulu, Hawaii. Book a room now!

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