HONOLULU (KHON2) — The New Aloha Stadium saga continues Thursday.
The Stadium Authority will hold another meeting in the morning. This comes as confusion surrounds the stadium’s future with Governor Ige looking to take it in another direction from what has been planned.
The governor has not yet released his final plans for the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District project but has had work stopped on request for proposals. The governor’s office told KHON2 that those plans could come in the next three weeks or soon if they finish needed preliminary work.
“I’m really curious to see who we are that’s looking at it, and how we plan to do that in three weeks or even since July till today to come up with a new plan where we spent years going through all of the steps required to do both the stadium and the district,” state public works administrator Chris Kinimaka said.
There were also years of work in relation to the surrounding communities to get buy-in for the development.
“All the work that we’ve done all the time that was committed, and I believe the millions of dollars that were spent in the planning phase where do they all go?” questioned Aliamanu, Salt Lake and Foster Village neighborhood board chair Chace Shigemasa.
Hawaii State Senator Glenn Wakai said the plan is for the University of Hawaii to be the stadium developer. UH told KHON2 in a statement:
“It is premature for the university to comment on the recent reports regarding the stadium project. Significant changes to the current project would require a comprehensive review of all potential financial, technical, land use, and legal issues. The UH administration would then present a detailed proposal to the Board of Regents for review and approval at a public meeting, as required for all major Capital Improvement Projects by the university.”
The timeline for the project is of major importance for the university’s football team, which is currently without a viable long-term stadium while playing at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.
“If UH is now leading the project. Of course, the community’s gonna want to talk to the University of Hawaii and get the input from the community and make sure that it’s part of that plan if they were to go that way,” Shigemasa said.
But Kinimaka expects delays.
“You can’t take, for example, the 1,000-page request for proposal that we have for the stadium and just slice it and dice it. You can’t just take pieces of it and throw it back together. Because all the work is integral,” said Kinimaka.
We’re Hawaii’s weather station, get the latest forecast and radar information here
Before they were halted, requests for proposals were scheduled to go out by Friday. The Stadium Authority is scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning.