Ige’s plan to redevelop Aloha Stadium without public-private partnership gets chilly reception
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. David Ige’s plan to build a new stadium without help from private developers got a chilly reception Thursday from the people in charge of Aloha Stadium.
After several years of planning and millions in costs, Aloha Stadium Authority board members and state lawmakers said they were caught off guard by Ige’s plans to halt the procurement process and start over.
“All the community meetings that we sat in, all the input that got put in, and then all of a sudden to say at the very last minute, the plug is pulled, and we’re not going to support that? I wish that had been certainly communicated a lot earlier,” said Claire Tamamoto, member of the Aloha Stadium Authority.
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State Sen. Glenn Wakai added: “I am concerned that we spent three years and $25 million to get to this point and we were all ready to go. And here we are two months before the end of their term, they’re saying that they somehow have a miraculously better idea to hasten this project?”
But the Ige administration said that getting rid of a public-private partnership will streamline the contracting process, allowing the stadium to be built quicker.
Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, told the stadium authority members that they no longer need private partners. That’s because the state Legislature set aside $350 million lawmakers this year for the stadium redevelopment, he said.
“You have $350 million to execute a project and go get it done,” he said.
“The P3 has many issues that have yet to be tested and we think the better path is just to go build the stadium -- do it the same on the way we always build things.”
McCartney said the University of Hawaii is one of the agencies that could take the lead on the project.
He said the governor will meet with the authority to discuss their concerns.
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