New Aloha Stadium financing, amenities in question in Hawaii



HONOLULU (KHON2) — The plan for the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District is changing, according to Governor David Ige on Wednesday.

Officials said the NASED has had a thousand-page request for proposals ready to go, but Gov. Ige has put a halt to RFPs.

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The Governor told KHON2 that the public-private partnership for the stadium will be structured differently.

“The Legislature appropriated $350 million in general obligation bonds to build the stadium and provided $50 million to operate the facility going forward. I do believe that’s sufficient. Since the financing for this project has dramatically changed, any public-private partnership will be structured differently than what had been previously envisioned,” Gov. Ige said to KHON2 in a statement Wednesday.

Officials said those numbers may be outdated.

“We saw that in 2016 we could build a new one for about $350 million, you and I both know that $350 million today in 2022 doesn’t go as far as it did in 2016 so my concern as an operator is will that give us the stadium that we can be proud of?” Aloha Stadium Manager Ryan Andrews said.

That includes a lot of features that officials think are necessary to make the stadium worth it.

“Instead of having a canopied roof we probably wouldn’t be able to have a roof, we’d have less locker rooms you wouldn’t have as many amenities,” state Public Works Administrator Chris Kinimaka said.

It’s not just for University of Hawaii football, even some large events that make the multi-use aspect of the stadium profitable and fun for the community.

“The things we’re looking at is providing the kind of rigging that you would make it cheaper to bring concerts,” Kinimaka said. “That’s one of the things that keeps them from coming to Hawaii is shipping all of the containers just for concerts in the middle of the Pacific.”

Andrews said the public-private aspect of the district would also allow the stadium to be maintained.

“The idea was we don’t want to be a drain on public funds we don’t want to go to the legislature every year asking for maintenance money, we want to be self-sufficient so that real estate revenue for the surrounding development revenue is important to that model,” Andrews said.

As we wait for Gov. Ige’s full plan, officials are also looking forward to planning with the two candidates in the race for Governor, Duke Aiona and Josh Green.

“It’s going to have to start as soon as the election is over,” Andrews said.

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Both Andrews and Kinimaka said they have yet to hear from Gov. Ige’s office. The next Stadium Authority meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, Sept. 29.


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