HONOLULU (KHON2) — Changes could be coming to the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District’s plans.
The Stadium Authority said that Gov. David Ige is changing direction on the NASED project, canceling both the NASED’s entertainment district and real estate project’s request for proposals.
“We spent the last two years and 20 million in planning and we’ve gotten to the point where we have three very qualified finalists, if we were to scratch that and start from zero that’s only going to add to the timeline as well as the cost for us to restart the meter,” State Senator (D) Glenn Wakai said.
On Tuesday, KHON2 asked Gov. David Ige’s office what this could do to the project’s pace and if there will be any changes to the three finalists.
In a statement, Gov. Ige’s Communications Director Cindy McMillan said “The administration is currently conducting its due diligence following the enactment of laws this year relating to Aloha Stadium. We are committed to developing a feasible course of action for the University’s sports programs, Univeristy of Hawaii fans, and the State of Hawaii.”
Sen. Wakai wonders why the change is being made now with Gov. Ige’s term ending.
“Considering for nearly eight years he’s done very little to support the stadium, and in the last two months of the administration all the sudden he wants to get into action mode I just find astonishing,” Sen. Wakai said.
The Stadium Authority said they have not had formal communications, and that they were just as surprised as anyone.
“The sudden change in direction at this late stage in the project is less than ideal and we anxiously look forward to learning more about the current administration’s new plans,” the Stadium Authority said.
Sen. Wakai feels similarly.
“I’m not too sure what his new direction is I understand somehow he’s going to try to punt this project over to the UH and I’m not sure how receptive the UH is but now is not the time for him to all of a sudden get active on this project,” he said.
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According to NASED, RFPs were scheduled to go out by the end of the month, with a contract awarded by 2023 and development to begin by the end of next year.