HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite packing in crowds for Bruno Mars and the Dallas Cowboys, Aloha Stadium is rusting away.
“It’s over 40 years old and it’s falling down,” said Stacey Jones, the lead architect for New Aloha Stadium. “Comfortable seats, great concessions, modern restrooms. Well, none of those things exist here.”
The goal is to have a new 35,000 seat stadium built in the next five years.
The total cost for the new stadium is $350 million.
“It’s become a money pit to just keep this place maintained. I mean the toilets don’t flush on the second level,” said Senator Glenn Wakai, the chair for the Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development and Tourism.
Neighbors were asked for their ideas on the re-development Wednesday night in a Master Planning Community Workshop.
Option A is to tear down the current stadium and build a new stadium in the same place.
Option B is to build a new stadium closer to Kamehameha Highway and the future rail station. Once that is finished, move operations there and turn the old stadium into an amphitheater or an urban park.
Option C is the same plan, but build the new stadium to the south, closer to homes.
All the options include a mix of retail and hotel developments.
It has taken years of debate just to get to this point.
The funding is ready, the state is on board and the designers are anxious to get started.
The state will soon start seeking proposals and hopes to choose the developer by next August.
The entire area, called an entertainment district, would be built in phases over 10 to 15 years.
"The main concern I think is traffic," said Aliamanu, Salt Lake, Foster Village Neighborhood Board Chair Chace Shigemasa.
Shigemasa said some residents are concerned about people parking in their neighborhoods and more noise.
“We have to look at creating sound barriers,” Shigemasa said.
Senator Wakai is a fan of option B.
“We can’t do plan A. We can’t tear down the stadium, take two years to build it and tell UH go play at Farrington high school,” he said. “My concern is that we just have to be on budget and on time. We can’t be rail 2.0 over budget and who knows when the thing is going to be done.”
The state has also launched a new website.
NASED stands for New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District.
Users can sign up for updates and find out how to get involved in the planning process.