After photos taken by a fan during a game Saturday showed a large crack below a seat, questions are being raised about the condition of Aloha Stadium.
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 raised doubts about its future. With discussions about a possible replacement well underway, concerns about the stadium’s safety have arisen after a fan took photos at Saturday’s Hawaii football game that showed a crack underneath his seat with a dislodged piece of metal.
The images have prompted some discussion about the condition of Aloha Stadium, particularly in the aftermath of a report that was released to the public earlier this year that underscored some issues at the facility. More from KHON:
A report released to the public in January echoes these pictures, stating that “The findings of the 2018 survey indicate that approximately 200 weathering steel members are presently categorized as either CS3 or CS4, which means that these members exhibit severe corrosion.”
Building structural engineer Lance Luke wasn’t overly concerned about the cracks photographed Saturday but is worried about the report.
“I think the general public if they don’t understand engineering terms or how to read the report just go back and look at the photos.” Luke said.
“Those photos are very alarming to me a lot of corrosion, a lot of rusted areas. There’s corroded, structural members. Some of the bolts are missing. Some of the weld joints are separated, and it’s kind of scary.”
In response to the photos, Aloha Stadium issued a statement, acknowledging the aging condition of the venue but noting that facility officials proactively work to find and address any issues that surface:
“As a 44 year old facility, the stadium is showing its age, but we continue to proactively discover and address health and safety related concerns. We do this through the guidance of a licensed forensic structural engineering firm that performs structural safety inspections and evaluations for the stadium. This process is modeled on similar inspection programs for all public roadway bridges nationwide. Our ongoing Health & Safety Capital Improvement Program prioritizes renovations and repairs based upon this guidance.”
Planning continues on a potential replacement for Aloha Stadium that would be built on the same property. While the exact scope of the project remains to be seen, the broad goal of the effort would be to replace Aloha Stadium with a new facility that would anchor a larger mixed-use redevelopment on the site. The hope is to break ground in late 2020, setting up a 2023 opening for the new facility. In meantime, it seems that officials will continue to work to address any safety concerns that arise at the existing Aloha Stadium.
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.
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