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Maui Invitational moving to Honolulu in wake of fires

Aug. 12, 2023 : Burned houses and buildings are seen in Lahaina. Thousands were displaced after a wildfire fueled by winds from Hurricane Dora and dry vegetation destroyed much of the town. The death toll from the fire makes it the deadliest wildfire of the past U.S.
Credit: Sandy Hooper / USA TODAY NETWORK

This season’s Maui Invitational is being moved to Honolulu in the wake of the August wildfires that devastated the island of Maui.

Organizers said the plan is for the tournament to return to the Lahaina Civic Center in 2024. The facility is serving as a recovery center after the fire killed at least 115 people in the historic town of Lahaina and left hundreds of others homeless.

This year’s tournament will take place at the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii campus from Nov. 20-22.

“While we have to move this year’s tournament off of Maui, we are determined to celebrate and honor the culture and traditions that make this event so special,” Tom Valdiserri, executive vice president of KemperSports LIVE, the operator of the Maui Invitational, said in a news release.

In the immediate aftermath of the fires, there was hope the tournament could remain on Maui since the Lahaina Civic Center wasn’t damaged in the blazes.

“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 County mayor Richard Bissen said. “We appreciate everything the Maui Invitational is doing to help Maui and its residents.”

This year’s Maui Invitational field consists of Kansas, Purdue, Gonzaga, Tennessee, Marquette, UCLA, Syracuse and Division II Chaminade, the tournament hosts.

–Field Level Media