Honolulu Star-Advertiser


By Ferd Lewis

March 31, 2020

The state says it may ask prospective developers of the New Aloha Stadium District to take on maintenance of the decrepit current facility until the new stadium’s expected opening in fall 2023.

The possibility, which had not been raised publicly before, is included in the project scope portion of the 61-page request for qualifications that the state posted on its Public Works website Friday.

The RFQ is a request for developers interested in a public-private partnership with the state to submit their experience and qualifications in similar projects. From the RFQ submissions, the state says it expects to identify no more than three respondents to invite to offer proposals.

In the RFQ, the state said, “The state is considering an approach whereby (the winning bidder) may be requested to perform maintenance services to the current Aloha Stadium prior to its demolition. Further details on this matter may be provided in the request for proposal.”

Under the current timeline, which calls for a developer to be under contract in the first quarter of 2021, if there was a requirement to handle maintenance, the developer would oversee approximately 2.5 years of maintenance before the new stadium opened its gates.

Maintenance has become an increasingly critical and costly issue for the 45-year old facility, where much of the maintenance has been deferred over the last four years due to cost.

Last year a Department of Accounting and General Services official said requested funds for health and safety repairs were not granted for three of the previous four fiscal years (2016, ’18 and ’19).

A request is currently before the Legislature for $7.5 million for basic health and safety maintenance at the facility this year.

“We don’t want the old stadium to lose revenue because the state can’t afford the upkeep,” said Stacey Jones, owner and principal of Crawford Architects, a state consultant.

This past football season aging water pumps broke down forcing the stadium to relocate some fans in the upper levels to lower level seats.

A report by a consulting structural engineering firm last year cited examples of approximately 200 weathered steel components and 85 decking panels “exhibiting severe corrosion” and said the stadium would require “at minimum” $30 million over the next two years to remain safe and operable.

The report recommended that the facility, which opened in 1975, be inspected on an annual basis, with more frequent checks if situations arise. Previously, the policy had been for biennial inspections, an industry standard.