The state will now have more flexibility to explore options for developing and expanding Aloha Stadium after officials announced Thursday that both federal and city deed restrictions on the roughly 100-acre parcel under the stadium have been lifted.
“The transfer of the federal deed restriction paves the way for the construction of a much-needed new stadium, as well as the opportunity for revitalizing the surrounding community,” said Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, in a statement.
In 1967, the U.S. Department of Interior had sold 56 acres of land to the City and County of Honolulu for $1.5 million. Three years later, the city conveyed that land to the state with additional acreage to create the Aloha Stadium site, but on the condition that federal and city deed restrictions apply.
Recently, with the facility progressively deteriorating, consultants have suggested building a smaller, more modern facility on the property in Halawa, along with a mixed-use neighborhood with dining and shopping areas. Officials say this could spur economic growth.
Though the transfer of the deed restriction will ease uncertainty about the development process, an ultimate decision rests with state lawmakers, administration and the public at large.
Aloha Stadium officially opened in 1975. The stadium, home to University of Hawaii football games, is Hawaii's largest outdoor arena with 50,000 seats. The stadium is also home to national sporting events like the NFL Pro Bowl game.