With the spotlight on Aloha Stadium, improvements considered for aging facility

With the spotlight on Aloha Stadium, improvements considered for aging facility
More than 100,000 people flocked to Aloha Stadium for the Bruno Mars concerts, proving the aging facility can handle massive crowds. (Ancheta, Dillon)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With several high-profile entertainers heading to Aloha Stadium next month, plans for the future of the aging facility are slowly coming together, according to stadium officials.

Bruno Mars attracted more than 100,000 fans to the stadium during three sold-out shows last week.

"I thought we did an excellent job considering the resources that we had to work with," said Scott Chan, manager of Aloha Stadium.

While fans praised Mars' concerts, they did complain about limited concessions and long restroom lines at the outdated facility which was built in 1975.

"Our stadium was built in an era when the amenities aren't like what people expect today, so the number of concession stands and the number of point of sales, we wish could be a lot more," deputy manager Ryan Andrews.

Other big acts, including Guns N' Roses and Cardi B, will be performing at the rusting stadium next month.

"It's a safe facility, but it's an older facility," said Chan. "If we don't get that support financially, there are going to be some concerns within the next few years."

Last year, the legislature set aside $10 million dollars to create a master plan for the area and an Environmental Impact Statement for a new stadium. Chan said the Stadium Authority is making progress and is now negotiating a proposal fee for a consultant to reassess some sites as well as tackle the master plan and EIS.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Los Angeles Rams just kicked off a partnership that includes a preseason game at Aloha Stadium next year.

State Senator Glenn Wakai was at the L.A. Coliseum on Sunday when the tourism campaign was announced.

“When you look at the Pro Bowl deal, it was a deal that was hammered out by the NFL to benefit the NFL,” said Wakai. “When the Rams come to town, this is going to be the biggest pay day for Aloha Stadium in 2019. It’s going to be shared.”

The Stadium Authority will soon receive an updated report about the stadium’s deteriorating conditions. Last year, the consultant recommended building a smaller stadium next to the current one in Halawa. The price tag in 2017 was $324.5 million dollars.

“We’re looking at mixed-use development so no longer are we going to have a stand-alone stadium surrounded by a 100-acre parking lot. We want restaurants. We want museums. We want theaters,” said Wakai.

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