SBD/June 30, 2014/Facilities

Report Recommends New, Smaller Facility With More Amenities Should Replace Aloha Stadium

N.Y.-based consulting firm Foley & Lardner recommended that a "new 30,000- to 40,000-seat stadium with premium seats and other amenities should be built near Aloha Stadium for a cost of up to" $192M, according to Duane Shimogawa of the PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS. The state of Hawaii commissioned Foley & Lardner to "come up with a plan for the stadium site in Honolulu." Based on "information collected from sports stadium design experts, a new stadium was the preferred option." The report said that building a new stadium would "likely substantially decrease the state’s annual operating expenses without decreasing revenues." It added that a new facility would cost up to $4.5M "annually to operate." By comparison, the stadium’s "average annual operating expenses for the past three years" were about $7M per year, so a new stadium "could possibly save the state" up to about $3M annually in operating expenses alone (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/26). In Honolulu, Dave Reardon wrote if seating capacity is "decreased from the current 50,000 at Aloha Stadium to 30,000 or something close to it, we're waving a white flag on vision and thinking big." That is "not just giving up on" Univ. of Hawaii football as "a large in-person draw." It also is "surrendering on taking shots at hosting big events." The new stadium "could be built in a way where expanding capacity would be simple and fast." But downsizing is "basically giving up on the Pro Bowl, as the NFL is "not going to want to stage its all-star game in a bandbox" (Honolulu STAR-ADVERTISER, 6/29).
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