HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Aloha Stadium needs $30 million over the next two years to address “high priority” maintenance needs, including severe corrosion in a number of areas, according to the Stadium Authority.
The funding estimate is based on a new structural and safety evaluation report for the facility, which was conducted back in August.
The report said while the venue is safe, it is deteriorating at an increasing rate and that proactive maintenance and repair work are needed.
“Approximately 200 weathering steel members and approximately 85 panels of lightweight decking are presently observed to exhibit severe corrosion,” the report said.
Over the next two years, some of the priority issues the stadium has identified for repairs include corroded braces on the end zone concrete barriers and the seating plates in certain sections.
“If we do not keep the corrosion in check, it will continue to grow exponentially,” said Chris Kinimaka, Planning Branch Chief for the Department of Accounting and General Services.
Stadium officials say because of a lack of state funding, important repairs have been put on hold and they’ve identified new areas of corrosion that weren’t there two years ago.
If they can’t get funding for these fixes, they say may have to start closing off some areas of the stadium.
“For example, a certain section of the end zone might not be allowed to be occupied. We would still be able to conduct the event, but not sell as many seats to attend the event,” said Kinimaka.
But state lawmakers say it makes more sense to invest in a new stadium.
“What we’re hoping to do is set aside a significant amount for the construction a new stadium,” said State Rep. Sylvia Luke, chair of the House Committee on Finance.
Lawmakers say groundbreaking for a new facility could happen as soon as five years, and the original stadium would remain standing until the new one is built next door.
“There’s an opportunity for housing, retail, and transit oriented development. I think that’s where we should be putting our money in the long run,” said State Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
But stadium officials say until any of that happens, the state needs to ensure Hawaii has a safe and operational venue for events of all sizes.
“We need to make sure our tenants, our guests, our community are still served. We need this (funding) irrespective of redevelopment plans,” said Ross Yamasaki, Aloha Stadium Authority Chairman.
The authority says its consultant recommended conducting annual inspections instead of biennial ones.
Aloha Stadium was built in 1975 at a cost of $37 million.