The Garden Island

By Associated Press | Saturday, September 14, 2019, 12:05 p.m.


HONOLULU — A new Aloha Stadium could be ready for the opening of the University of Hawaii’s 2023 football season, officials said.

The owner and senior principal of the firm hired to shepherd the process says a 2023 opening date can be achieved, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

The state is paying $5 million to Crawford Architects of Kansas City, Missouri, to develop a master plan and conduct an environmental impact statement, which is mandated by law.

The 2023 opening is “eminently do-able, sensible and economical,” said Crawford owner Stacey Jones.

The goal is to have an environmental impact statement completed by the end of July 2020. Ongoing deferred maintenance problems will only become more expensive with time because of inflation and other demands, Jones said.

“What we’re allowing is a design and construction period of somewhere a little less than three years which, in our experience, is ample time to deliver the stadium plus whatever constitutes the first phase of development,” Jones said.

The state Legislature approved $350 million for the construction of a new stadium as a so-called “P3”project involving public and private partnerships. The state funding is a combination of general funds, reimbursable revenue bonds and general obligation bonds.

The announcement is the first public timeline revealed since the Legislature signed off on the project in May.

Aloha Stadium opened in 1975 in suburban Honolulu as the home of the University of Hawaii’s football team.

“There is an imperative, right, to get out of this old stadium as quickly as possible without being hasty about it. It doesn’t exactly fulfill the customer satisfaction requirements it did when it was built,” Jones said.