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The new Aloha Stadium is estimated to create thousands of jobs, state officials say

new Aloha Stadium rendering
NASED Stadium Project
This rendering shows an afternoon football game at the new Aloha Stadium seen from the upper bowl of the Makai side of the stadium.

The state has notified three potential development groups that a request for proposals to build the new Aloha Stadium will be issued on Dec. 15.

The RFP will only be for the construction of the stadium at the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District. The real estate project RFP was issued last month.

At a press conference Wednesday, state officials discussed the economic impact of the project. The initial construction alone will create over 12,000 jobs, amounting to nearly $600 million in construction wages, they said.

The entertainment district is estimated to create 619 net annual jobs and $28.8 million in annual wages. The stadium will bring more than $27 million in additional net tax revenue upon completion of full build-out, officials said.

"As you can see, the economic gains for developing the entire district are tremendous and long-lasting — which unfortunately you would not get if you build 20,000 to 100,000 affordable housing units," said Chris Kinimaka, Public Works Administrator for the state Department of Accounting and General Services.

The stadium will build over 3,000 affordable housing units in the surrounding Halawa area, officials said.

Critics of the new stadium, such as former Govs. John Waiheʻe, Ben Cayetano, and Neil Abercrombie, say the 98-acre site should be used primarily for housing — and a smaller stadium should instead go to UH Mānoa.

"That land is state land and is a perfect site for the 20,000 or so housing units that we are short," Cayetano said during an interview with HPR's The Conversation. "It seems like a total waste of money to spend $432 million and counting, I guess, for a 35,000-capacity stadium, when football attendance now averages about 21,000 a game."

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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