HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state has issued a request for proposals to remove and replace the synthetic field at Aloha Stadium, three months after the U.S. Women's National soccer team abruptly canceled a match at the venue because of the condition of the turf.
Stadium Authority Chairman Charles Toguchi said the field was scheduled to be replaced early next year at a cost of $1.5 million, but the timetable has been moved up to this summer.
"We are making every effort to place ourselves in the best possible and most attractive position to be considered as the host site for the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl game," Toguchi said.
Sports analyst and former Hawaii Tourism Authority official Mark Rolfing believes putting in a new field now is a smart move.
"I believe if Hawaii wants to be competitive going forward, not only in keeping the premier events we have but attracting new events, we're going to have to continue to upgrade our facilities," he said.
HTA has a contract to host next year's Pro Bowl, but the NFL has the option to back out of the deal by the end of March. Houston is making a big push to take the game because it has the Super Bowl.
Some sources told Hawaii News Now there is a rush to re-do the stadium's surface to satisfy the NFL and keep the Pro Bowl here.
In December, the U.S. women's soccer team canceled a match at Aloha Stadium, saying the field had trouble spots and was unsafe.
World Cup MVP Carli Lloyd told reporters she was worried players would get injured. "I have to be honest, the surface is a bit risky out there," she said.
The synthetic turf was installed in 2011. It replaced field turf that was put in in 2003.
According to state documents, the work on the new field is scheduled to begin May 23 and wrap up August 5.
HTA president George Szigeti said he supports the decision to replace the turf by this summer.
"We applaud the Stadium Authority for installing a new field in time for the fall sports season," he said, in a statement.
The field work will consist of removing and replacing the turf and the drainage mat underneath. The funds to replace the turf will come from naming rights fees paid by Hawaiian Airlines.