The University of Hawaiʻi estimates that it will cost about $6 million to retrofit existing facilities to host Rainbow Warrior football games at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex on the UH Mānoa campus for the next three seasons starting in 2021 which was revealed in a press release on Tyuesday.
The preliminary concepts and cost estimates will be presented to the UH Board of Regents on February 4, at a joint meeting of the Intercollegiate Athletics and Budget & Finance committees. The plan includes increasing seating capacity around Ching Field from 3,585 seats to approximately 10,000 seats. The university is also evaluating funding sources for the project.
The proposed $6 million project includes $4.2 million for capital improvements and $1.8 million for operating costs for the 2021 season. To retrofit the entire complex includes:
- $2 million in facility upgrades, including electrical, telecommunications and press box
- $1.8 million for additional spectator seating
- $1.1 million for relocation of scoreboards and game clocks from Aloha Stadium
- $712,000 for adding concession space
- $200,000 for adding benches
- $150,000 for relocating pole vault/high jump area
UH will host six to seven games each year over the next three seasons. Along with the planned upgrades, new synthetic turf was already funded and scheduled to be installed by the start of the season.
The university began the search for a temporary “home field” after the Aloha Stadium Authority announced in December 2020 that Aloha Stadium, UH’s home field since 1975, would not be able to accommodate fans for the 2021 season. The Clarence T.C. Ching Complex was selected after a number of other sites were considered including local high school football fields and neighbor island venues.
UH has existing traffic control and on-site parking plans that can accommodate more than 10,000 fans at events on the campus. The Stan Sheriff Center has a 10,000 seat capacity and is sometimes full at the same time the Rainbow Warrior baseball team plays, which can attract up to 4,000 fans. Spring commencement ceremonies routinely attract about 20,000 people to campus. University representatives will be reaching out to the area neighborhood boards and community members to provide information and solicit feedback regarding the scheduling of six to seven additional large events on campus per year.
Hosting games on campus will also provide additional opportunities for revenue from parking and concessions that will help offset the operating costs and help support the entire UH Mānoa intercollegiate athletic program.