Hawaii governor David Ige has signed a bill that would provide funds for a project that includes a successor to Aloha Stadium, moving the effort to replace the facility forward.
First opening in 1975, Aloha Stadium is currently used for University of Hawaii at Manoa football and other events, but its aging condition and high maintenance costs have prompted debates about its future. That has led to some state officials pushing for a larger redevelopment of the Aloha Stadium site to include a new stadium, with the overall project including new ancillary development.
On Monday, Ige signed a bill that helps move that process forward. The bill, ACT 268, establishes a Stadium Development District, puts the Aloha Stadium property under jurisdiction of the Stadium Authority, and allocates $350 million toward the project. That funding includes $20 million in capital, $150 million in general obligation bonds, and $180 million in revenue bonds.
“Aloha Stadium has served as a vital gathering place for some 40 years now, where residents and visitors come together to enjoy athletic events and concerts,” Ige said in a statement. “The recent Bruno Mars, Eagles and Guns and Roses concerts, as well as the upcoming L.A. Rams game – make it very clear that Hawai‘i needs to invest in a new stadium to serve our state for generations to come.”
While the signing of the bill moves the process forward, a few steps remain. An environmental review is ongoing and will likely not be completed until some time in 2020, and the state will be seeking private developers to lease land within the district. More from Hawaii News Now:
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….
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.
Aloha Stadium has had a number of unique uses throughout its history. It was once a regular home for the NFL Pro Bowl, and hosted a Minor League Baseball franchise in the form of the Hawaii Islanders (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) from 1976-1987. The facility is currently included on our Endangered Stadiums page.
Image courtesy Aloha Stadium.