by: Sam Spangler
Posted: November 5, 2019 / 10:15 PM HST / Updated: November 5, 2019 / 10:15 PM HST
A day after a structural engineer questioned the safety of Aloha Stadium, a local lawmaker says that fans don’t have to worry.
“The sky is not falling. The stadium is still a safe place to go.” State Senator Glenn Wakai said.
Yesterday building inspection expert Lance Luke said he wouldn’t attend an event at Aloha Stadium due to the concerns with rust corrosion. Wakai is confident that the engineering inspections are done yearly assure it is safe, and if not that the state will pony up the necessary money to make it so.
“They have engineers that evaluate the stadium it used to be every two years now it’s every year so I have full faith in Scott Chan and the Stadium Authority Board to make sure that we have a safe facility,” Wakai added.
Materials may not be falling, but a University of Hawaii football fan took a picture of a crack beneath his seat last Saturday as the Rainbow Warrior football team hosted Fresno State.
Aloha Stadium is in need of at least 30 million dollars of repairs in the next two years. Wakai says the money will have to be made available because there is no alternative.
“Whatever that cost might be, hopefully, it’s less than 30 but if it’s 35 if it’s 40 we have no other option,” Wakai said.
“The University of Hawaii has to play it’s games someplace and we have to have that stadium safe to the public.”
That is until a proposed New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District is completed at it’s scheduled 2023 target date. Construction is slated to break ground in the third quarter of 2020.
“All of this puts even more pressure on us to get the new stadium done, built on time and on budget,” Wakai said.
A massive project like the NASED will take many government agencies and private entities to be on the same page to stay on schedule.
“I was just with my colleagues this afternoon and it’s the most talked-about issue outside of climate change for my colleagues. So we’re really excited about the possibilities, not just the stadium but the mixed-use that’s going to go around the stadium. We’re going to create the most exciting and dynamic place in Hawaii on that 100 acres.”
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