By Ferd Lewis

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
September 9, 2019
Updated 12:59 a.m.

Incrementally constructing the new Aloha Stadium on the site of the present facility while tearing down
the old one is among three preliminary concept options laid out in a just-released report for the Stadium

All three preliminary site plan options are within the facility’s current 96-acre footprint in Halawa,
according to a report posted by the Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Option “A” would be where the present stadium sits, “B” would be west of the existing facility and “C” to
the south. Each includes site plans of what the layouts might look like with surrounding mixed-use retail
development, a rail station, parking, a swap meet area and other amenities.

The plans are part of an environmental impact statement preparation notice required by the
environmental impact statement process. The options are meant to provide a preliminary basis for
discussion with stakeholders, community entities and potential developers. The options are considered
fluid. Officials have previously said what eventually emerges from the process could vary from the site
plans in the report.

The current stadium opened in 1975 at a cost of $37 million and has been plagued with rust problems
from early on. A 2017 study revealed the existing stadium required approximately $300 million in critical
health and safety repairs as well as $121 million in additional improvements to bring the facility up to
ADA standards and code compliance.

Corrosion has become so pronounced that structural consultants have recommended annual

The EIS and master plans for the new stadium are expected to cost approximately $5 million, officials
have said. The state is appropriating $350 million through a combination of revenue bonds ($180
million), general obligation bonds ($150 million) and general funds ($20 million) for the building of the
new stadium while partnering with a private developer yet to be selected.

According to the report, “In all options, the new Aloha Stadium will be downsized from its existing
capacity of 50,000 seats with a capacity of approximately 35,000 seats. The new stadium will be
configured to support a variety of sports and entertainment events, including football, soccer, rugby and
other sports that are played on a rectangular field. In addition, concerts, community functions and
family-oriented events may be hosted at the facility.”

The eventual stadium “will likely be constructed of concrete treads and risers supported by composite
concrete and steel beams. The design of the stadium will also consider a roof over the seating areas to
provide shelter from the elements to the extent that it is economically feasible. However, the field will
not be covered by the proposed roof.”

Of the three options, “A” could be the most challenging. The report reads that it would feature an
“incremental redevelopment scenario (that) will see the old stadium progressively demolished and
replaced with new construction, facilitating uninterrupted use throughout the demolition and
construction cycle.”

It notes, “An entirely new facility will be realized at the completion of the final increment.”

With option “B,” the report reveals, “The existing stadium can remain operational while the new stadium
is constructed. At the conclusion of construction, stadium operations move into the new venue and the
old stadium is demolished. The bowl-shaped depression remaining after demolition is reprogrammed
as an outdoor performance venue and community recreation space.”

Meanwhile, under option “C,” the report read, “As with option “B” the existing stadium remains
operational throughout construction of a new stadium to the south. The site of the old stadium and
surrounding circular parking area are reconfigured into a grid street pattern defining a new central
recreation space.”

The report adds, “Each option envisions that the construction of a new stadium would be followed by
multiple phases of ancillary development until the entire site is built out to capacity over time.”

The environmental impact statement preparation notice was prepared for the Aloha Stadium Authority
and Crawford Architects by Wilson Okamoto Corp. of Honolulu. The firm’s website identifies it as an
engineering and planning company. The actual EIS is scheduled to be completed by the end of July,
officials said last month.

Stadium officials were not immediately available for comment.

Additional information and updates will be available on the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District

Where the present stadium sits:
>> Old stadium to be progressively demolished and replaced with new construction.
>> Uninterrupted use throughout construction.

West of the existing facility:
>> Existing stadium would remain operational while the new stadium is constructed.
>> Bowl-shaped depression remaining after demolition of old stadium would be reprogrammed as
outdoor performance venue and community recreation space.

South of the present stadium:
>> Existing stadium would remain operational while the new stadium is constructed.
>> Site of the old stadium and surrounding circular parking area to be reconfigured into grid street
pattern with central recreation space.