West Hawaii Today
By Associated Press | Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 9:35 a.m.
HONOLULU — A state agency is set to begin overseeing redevelopment of the state’s largest stadium, officials said.
The Hawaii Community Development Authority will take over the redevelopment of Aloha Stadium in suburban Honolulu, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.
The authority’s board members have endorsed a draft memorandum of understanding to act as the stadium project’s “delivery agency,” officials said.
The project spent several years in a conceptual and planning phase, which officials said was driven by the state Department of Accounting and General Services and the Aloha Stadium Authority.
Democratic Gov. David Ige signed a bill in July to transfer the project to the development authority from the other two state entities.
The authority is expected to use its redevelopment power to build a new stadium in place of the existing 50,000-seat stadium in Halawa, which opened in 1975 and is home to the University of Hawaii football team.
The new stadium project began around 2014 with assessment studies and earlier this year received a $350 million funding commitment from the Hawaii Legislature. Maintaining the old stadium would have cost about $420 million, officials said.
State officials hope to have a new stadium with around 35,000 seats open by fall 2023.
The development authority is now the “implementation arm of the realization of the stadium district,” Executive Director Aedward Los Banos said.
Using a private developer to finance, design, build, and maintain the new stadium, which the state would pay to use, could reduce development expenses for taxpayers, Los Banos said.
A winning submission could be selected by the end of 2020, Los Banos said.
The authority’s 17 board members have been encouraged to complete a proposal solicitation by March, although members Jason Okuhama and Robert Yu questioned whether the timetable is realistic.
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