Consultants suggest hotel, housing to be built at new Aloha Stadium facility

Consultants suggest hotel, housing to be built at new Aloha Stadium facility
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HALAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Aloha Stadium Authority accepted a new report on the future of the aging facility during a meeting Wednesday.

The deteriorating condition of the stadium has led consultants to suggest building a smaller, more modern facility on the 104-acre property in Halawa.

A consultant report, presented by the firm Foley & Lardner, recommends a 30,000 to 35,000 seat facility be built adjacent to the existing structure.

The new stadium could expand to 40,000 seats for special events, and would have a hotel, housing and retail space.

"What's so exciting about that is when you think about HART, when you think about a new stadium, and then this broader site, you have this very dynamic and interesting opportunity," consultant Irwin Raij said.

Aloha Stadium opened in 1975 and has 50,000 seats. But in the last three years, only one UH football game has attracted more than 35,000 fans.

In addition to rising maintenance costs, the report found the structure to be a hazard to public safety.

Consultants say the 42-year-old facility has served its useful life.

Part of the report said, "…inspections have identified pieces of the building that have actually fallen into public areas of the facility…" when vacant.

"There's always risk with an aging facility and that's why we have the experts trying to provide guidance and support at this point in time though it's a facility that is still operable and it's a safe facility to come to," stadium manager Scott Chan said.

So how much will all of this cost?

The report says the price tag for the new facility would be $324 million. That's less than the $423 million less than the current stadium needs for safety repairs and required changes.

Some believe, the investment is worth making.

"If they really concentrate on making the venue itself more attractive and in combination with the sports thing, everybody would love it." Swap Meet vendor Jim Bacon said.

The consultant says the new stadium could generate $5.2 million in net income annually, including revenue from a revamped swap meet.

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