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New Aloha Stadium Concept Unveiled

Aloha Stadium Authority

A new Aloha Stadium plan was unveiled today for the first time.  Planners say it’s conceptual only to begin the public discussion.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Aloha Stadium 2.0 would be a brand new, modern replacement facility with 10-thousand fewer seats.  It would cost nearly 100- million dollars less to build a new stadium rather than fix the old one.  Design Consultant Irwin Raij helped prepare the 181-page report.

“To repair the building plus make it compliant with code, which means ADA and other things, that it would cost $423-million to do so.  That’s around $30-million a year for 25 years.  To build a 30-35-thousand seat stadium, expandable to 40 for special events, we believe that would actually cost $324 million to build.”

Credit Wayne Yoshioka
(L-R) Design consultant Irwin Raij; Aloha Stadium Authority chair, Ross Yamasaki, and stadium manager Scott Chan, brief media on conceptual plans

In addition, Raij says there would be enough space left on the property to build commercial and hotel facilities through private-public partnerships, generating up to $1.5 billion in economic activity.  The stadium would use that revenue and be self-sustaining and not rely on state funding.   Stadium manager, Scott Chan, says the current stadium would have to be maintained and operate throughout the construction period.

“It’s an aging facility; it’s 42 years old; it needs a lot of tender-loving care.  We are only looking at prioritizing health and safety issues with the money that we get now.  One of the major items was the rust mitigation.  We’re addressing the interval right now in the concourse areas.  At this point in time, the facility is still operable and it’s a safe facility to come to.”

Credit Aloha Stadium Authority
Model of current Aloha Stadium built in 1975 for $37M.

If the plans were approved today, the project consultant says it would take up to 7 years to complete.   Construction alone would take two years.   The next step is to obtain about 10 million dollars in funding for planning, design and environmental assessments.   There are no estimates of cost overruns because the plans are conceptual only.  Aloha Stadium Authority Chair, Ross Yamasaki.

“If Hawai’i is to achieve the opportunities identified in this report, it’s important for legislators and policy makers fund the next step.  And what that next step will do is allow us to put together more concrete financial analysis on the project so that we can provide greater detail as to what and how we move forward with the stadium.”

The current 50-thousand seat Aloha Stadium was completed in 1975 at a cost of 37 million dollars.  Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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