Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Hawaii News | Sports
By Ferd Lewis
October 13, 2019
Updated 12:05 a.m.

The process of selecting a developer for the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District will take a major step in coming months as the state prepares to send out requests for qualifications from prospective partners before the end of the year.

Following the RFQs, a short list of developers to receive requests for proposals will be announced in the first quarter of 2020 as the state aims to have the new stadium ready in time for the University of Hawaii football team’s Sept. 2, 2023, home season opener.

The solicitation and timeline comes on the heels of last week’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Industry Day and other recent community engagement events.

The P3 session attracted about 100 participants among contractors, developers, architects and
engineers to a briefing at Aloha Stadium. Officials said they represented 50 companies from Hawaii, the
mainland and abroad.

“We are very pleased with the turnout and feedback we have received during our meetings with the
public, swap meet vendors and industry professionals,” said Stacey Jones, owner and senior principal
of Crawford Architects, the firm spearheading the process for the state.

“There is a high level of interest in the project from many groups and we’re committed to maintaining
ongoing communications, interactions and transparency as the project proceeds,” Jones said in a
statement to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

In the spring, state officials hosted a briefing on the new stadium at the Convention of Sports
&Entertainment Facilities Conference in San Diego for an audience that was described in materials as
including, “prospective developers and industry partners.”

Three possible sites on the current 98-acre stadium location in Halawa have been studied and a final
determination as well as a stadium size will be made in concert with the eventual P3 partner.

Meanwhile, the public comment period for the environmental impact statement preparation notice is
underway and is scheduled to conclude on Nov. 7.

The EIS is projected to be completed by the end of July. Acceptance of the EIS would allow
construction of the new stadium to begin next fall and be completed before the start of the 2023
University of Hawaii football season, according to the announced timeline.

Currently, UH lists a Sept. 2 game with the State University of New York at Albany as its 2023 home
opener. The Rainbow Warriors begin the season Aug. 26 in Nashville, Tenn., against Vanderbilt.

Stadium events, including games and swap meets, are expected to continue throughout construction,
officials said. Project officials also met last week to brief swap meet vendors on the process.

While the new stadium will be the centerpiece of the first phase of the project, the venture is projected
to contain mixed-use development including retail stores, residential buildings and other entertainment

The state has appropriated $350 million for the building of a new stadium and is relying on a private
partner to help underwrite the project.