KO OLINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ko Olina was a flurry of activity and dust Monday as workers bustled to prepare the stage for Japanese musical super-group Arashi. The five-member boy band is set to play there Friday and Saturday nights.
The stage itself is enormous. It's 63 feet high and 280 feet wide. It includes portions that can move out into the audience area, and several big screens. It took dozens of sea and air cargo containers to bring it to Hawaii. All told, the cost to put on the show – which was paid for by the band - is approximately $8 million
"Of all the concerts I've done, I think this one is the biggest," said promoter Tom Moffatt.
The band chose Hawaii to commemorate the 15th anniversary of their formation, which was announced in Honolulu in 1999.
15,000 fans from Japan have booked tickets to see the show. The economic impact to Hawaii is estimated at $20 million. Eric Takahata, Managing Director of Hawaii Tourism Japan, described it as "a big win for the state."
The concert has also created job opportunities, as the construction crew is comprised of both Japanese and local workers.
"We're so glad that we're able to give a lot of opportunity for local employment here," added Takahata.
Not only will there be direct impact from the concert, but Takahata says it could be a game-changer for large scale acts.
"Everybody in Japan loves Hawaii. It's almost a no-brainer to bring entertainment acts here to Hawaii. I think this is the most groundbreaking thing ever and I think it'll just open the floodgates".