Proposal could transform Aloha Stadium into entertainment destination

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What does the future hold for Aloha Stadium? It’s been talked about for decades.

A state lawmaker tells us a plan is now in the works, and it involves much more than the facility.

Most of the year, Aloha Stadium’s parking lot remains empty.

“To have Aloha Stadium to be the home of a swap meet and six UH games, an occasional Pro Bowl and high school football games is an under-utilization of that asset,” said Sen. Glenn Wakai, who represents the area. “It can be a far more lucrative venue than that.”

What if there were restaurants, apartments, and other features meant to draw people to the area?

It’s an idea that could become reality in the near future, if Wakai gets his way.

“We are going to create a destination on that 104 acres and what do we mean by that? Perhaps we will look at adding a hotel there, adding affordable housing, we can look at retail, restaurants, night clubs,” he said.

Wakai says by adding a place where people want to visit even without a sporting event going on, it could bring in revenue, especially since the rail will stop there.

“There is going to be a stadium stop there, and the city has it planned to be a park-and-ride. I think that is going to be a miserable use of the land,” Wakai said.

KHON2 found out the plans also look to add a new stadium, which would have fewer seats, but be more suitable for an array of concerts and sporting events.

Wakai says there are already renderings of the stadium. “It is going to be one big bowl and that will be the 35,000-seat stadium, which could expand to 42,000, but I think the stadium we have is too cavernous for the entertainment and sports activities that we anticipate,” he said.

How much would it cost?

“Even just the maintenance of the current stadium is going to be more than $280 million to keep the existing stadium standing, and considering it is not well suitable for our current needs, I think we should move to tearing it down,” Wakai said.

While there is still much to be discussed, the question remains, what is the future of Aloha Stadium?

“We can totally change that and make it an iconic gathering place for locals and tourists in the future,” Wakai said.

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