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Gubernatorial candidate Duke Aiona weighs in on new direction for Aloha Stadium project

aloha stadium football halawa pro bowl 2009
Marco Garcia/AP
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FR132415 AP
FILE - This Feb. 8, 2009, file photo, shows Aloha Stadium before the start of the NFL's Pro Bowl football game, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)

We asked both gubernatorial candidates — Democrat Josh Green and Republican Duke Aiona — for their thoughts about the proposed new direction of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District project.

Last week, the ʻAiea Neighborhood Board learned that Gov. David Ige's chief of staff paused the bid process to explore the option of having the University of Hawaiʻi build the stadium.

We talked with former Lieutenant Governor and Republican Duke Aiona on Friday. Whoever wins during the general election will have to see the project through.

"If (Ige) is going to do something, I wish he would tell everyone and not do what he just did," Aiona told The Conversation. "It sounds like it's coming top-down, you know, heavy-handed again, coming top-down, not discussing this with the stakeholders who are involved, in particular the University of Hawaiʻi."

"I've always said that, for me, from my perspective, I believe that a stadium on campus would be best for the University of Hawaiʻi," Aiona said.

University of Hawaiʻi spokesperson Moanikeala Nabarro issued this written statement to The Conversation just within the last hour:

“It is premature for the university to comment on the recent reports regarding the stadium project. Significant changes to the current project would require a comprehensive review of all potential financial, technical, land use, and legal issues. The UH administration would then present a detailed proposal to the Board of Regents for review and appraisal at a public meeting as required for all major Capital Improvement Projects by the university.”

This interview aired on The Conversation on Sept. 23, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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