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Officials say they want new Aloha Stadium to meet community needs with or without sports

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.

State officials say the new Aloha Stadium will meet the community's needs, regardless of whether professional sports come to the state.

The Hawaii Society of Business Professionals hosted an update Thursday on the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District.

Stadium Authority chairman Ross Yamasaki said growth sports leagues – such as soccer and rugby – have expressed interest in the new stadium.

Last year, three former Hawaiʻi governors voiced their disapproval of the stadium plans to legislators – saying redevelopment of the area should focus on housing, and professional sports may not be realistic or sustainable.

While plans for the district include affordable housing – Yamasaki says the Stadium Authority aimed to maximize future economic opportunities with the site.

"I think in the name New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, we realize that sports has evolved over time. I mean, sports is entertainment. And so when we look at the stadium, it's not just for football games," Yamasaki said.

"Even with or without sports, the Stadium Authority is trying to address that by requiring a building in its design to accommodate as much functionality as possible. We do want to bring in concerts. We do see that as a community benefit, so we have to provide something that's attractive," he said.

State public works administrator Chris Kinimaka says the project’s final environmental impact statement may be published next month.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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