HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor David Ige signed into law Monday a bill that kicks off the process of redeveloping the 44-year-old Aloha Stadium into a mixed-use sports and entertainment district.
"The most momentous thing that we're doing is we're actually building community," said State Rep. Aaron Johnason, who represents the area. "There's going to be a renaissance and a revitalization of many of the areas that have borne our public infrastructure the likes of which we haven't seen in decades."
Act 268 appropriates $350 million for the new Stadium Development District.
The state will issue $180 million in reimbursable revenue bonds, $150 million in general obligation bonds, and $20 million in general funds.
The state will request bids from potential developers who will lease the land from the state.
"Funding (the project) purely with state funds is not feasible," said Gov. David Ige. "A public private partnership, a combination of various funding streams, is fundamentally important for us to be successful."
The Stadium Authority will oversee the new district and work with the Hawaii Community Development Authority to develop the project.
The new stadium will be smaller, but officials say there will be other features, such as restaurants, shops, possibly even a hotel.
"We have the number one visitor attraction on Oahu right next door, and what do those 1.8 million people do after they see the Arizona Memorial? They get on a bus and they leave," said State Sen. Glenn Wakai, who represents the area. "This is an opportunity for us to give them a reason to stick around. To dine, to be entertained, to go shopping."
Supporters of the project say a replacement stadium is much-needed because of the severe erosion and high cost of maintenance at the existing facility.
Stadium officials announced back in March that they have begun work on the project’s environmental impact statement, which could take 12 to 18 months.