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Study recommends smaller venue to replace Aloha Stadium

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 04:33 p.m. HST, Jun 26, 2014

A consultant hired by the state to study the future of Aloha Stadium has recommended "a new 30,000- to 35,000-seat stadium on the lower portion of the stadium site."

The report, prepared by Foley & Lardner of New York, was unanimously accepted by the Aloha Stadium Authority on Thursday.

"The purpose of the summary is to provide the Stadium Authority with facts and stakeholder opinions so that we can make informed decisions about the future of Aloha Stadium," authority chairman Charles Toguchi said.

"While the summary includes observations and recommendations from Foley & Lardner, the Stadium Authority has not made any definitive decisions regarding the future of Aloha Stadium, as we look forward to analyzing the summary and soliciting feedback from the public," Toguchi said.

The 50,000-seat Aloha Stadium opened in 1975 and has undergone numerous renovations.

The study said a new stadium could "save the state between $2.4 million and $3.2 million per year in operating expenses alone."

The study also stated that a new 30,000- to 40,000-seat stadium, which includes premium seating options and other modern amenities, could be built in Hawaii at a cost of $132 million to $192 million (in 2014 dollars), excluding transportation and related infrastructure.

Toguchi said, "it is important that the Authority review and consider comments from the public."

The Stadium Authority will host an open house on July 10 to allow the public to provide comments on the summary.

Aloha Stadium Report

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State urged to raze Aloha Stadium

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whs1966 wrote:
Perhaps Aloha Stadium would be in better shape if the income generated by games, parking, the swap meet, and events like the 50th fair weren't siphoned off into the general fund.
on June 26,2014 | 12:16PM
Seawolf1 wrote:
I think it needs to stay 50,000 seats for future growth, if UH ever wants in the PAC 12.
on June 26,2014 | 12:17PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Of course, you could spend $0 million on new construction, renovate the already existing 50,000 seat structure with a portion of the $192 million (local labor this time, please), and improve amenities. Luxury boxes? Somehow, seems like it wil become an insider scam from the get go.
on June 26,2014 | 12:30PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
With events scattered on the calendar (UH football excepted), would they be able to find the time to complete renovations? If those renovations were projected to take longer than a year, then it would be a non-starter.
on June 26,2014 | 01:27PM
IkaikaClothingofHNL wrote:
Exactly! But not just the Pac-12, any "Super Conference" that we would beg to accept us into their conference. On the other hand, if you build smart, leave room for expansion just like Alabama did, Boise St. did, and so much more. Pay for what you can afford now! But if you don't win now, we're up $hit creek! Good luck Coach Chow. Our University's Athletic Department is in your hands!
on June 26,2014 | 02:56PM
Bdpapa wrote:
I agree. Pac 12 is the dream but keep the capacity as it is.
on June 26,2014 | 07:43PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Hey! Wow! After you get over the spending $192 Million (to save $3.2 million per year, after spending $192 million), it sounds GREAT! Have Foley & Lardner of New York guarantee the pricing and savings and go to it!
on June 26,2014 | 12:26PM
kailua_hi wrote:
The interest on the debt will easily exceed the operating expense savings. Bakatare!
on June 26,2014 | 12:39PM
atom wrote:
will the NFL be Ok with that seating number for the Pro Bowl or will it find another site? not something to base the stadium construction on, but need to consider what events will be held in the new stadium when they build it...soccer, concerts, etc. need to make more revenue if we're going to spend a good chunk of money on the new one.
on June 26,2014 | 12:34PM
CriticalReader wrote:
The U of Washington RENOVATED their stadium and it cost $280 million. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2013/08/29/husky-stadium-university-of-washington-renovations-debut-boise-state/2725873/
on June 26,2014 | 12:39PM
dopaco24 wrote:
They took out the track, lowered the field, and added seats. In addition, they completely refurbished the entire stadium and added luxury suites. The previous end zone seats were removable to allow for track and field events, so they built permanent seating. It was almost a rebuild instead of a renovation. This process took a little over a year, and forced the team to play it's home games at another stadium. Since there are no other comparable stadiums that UH can use during the renovation, a brand new stadium adjacent to the current one makes sense. I would recommend a 40,000 seat stadium with temporary expansion options allowing it to reach 50-55,000 for certain sporting events. UH averages close to 45,000 fans when it hosts a BCS, now Power 5, opponent. The Hawaii Bowl has recently had over 40,000 fans when UH is a participant. And of course, the Pro Bowl usually sells out the 50,000 seat Aloha Stadium.
on June 26,2014 | 01:10PM
primowarrior wrote:
Makes sense to me.
on June 26,2014 | 02:23PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
I don't think the NFL cares about the number of seats it sells. The Pro Bowl is for TV. As long as the stadium is full, they're happy. I wonder how improved the experience would be for attendees of anything if the new stadium doesn't have the infrastructure for changing configurations?
on June 26,2014 | 01:30PM
false wrote:
Without, the luxury boxes at Aloha Stadium...pro bowl is history. The team owner's want to vacation and watch the game in class....sorry!
on June 26,2014 | 02:18PM
dopaco24 wrote:
I would recommend 40,000 with both temporary and permanent expansion options. UH has historically averaged close to 45,000 fans when they host BCS, now Power 5, conference opponents. If the stadium can expand up to 50K for certain events, like the Pro Bowl and for UH games against quality opponents, I'm all for it. I do agree that Aloha Stadium would be in great shape if the $4-5 million in annual net revenue wasn't put into the general fund.
on June 26,2014 | 12:39PM
earlson wrote:
I guess the Stadium Authority has written off the Pro Bowl and is assuming that UH football will never regain its popularity ... unfortunately both may be true. Given the history of how public construction projects are handled, the $132-$192 million price tag is way too low. It will probably cost $200-$400 million in 2014 dollars by the time it's done. The annual cost savings to maintain the present stadium would be $2.4-$3.2 million. Let's say it's $5 million savings in maintenance if we have a new stadium. With a $200 million cost for a new stadium, we can maintain the present stadium for 40 more years so it seems to make sense to keep the present one with 50k seats than to downsize. It would make better sense to spend $10 million to build a parking structure so it's more fan friendly to help draw a bigger crowd.
on June 26,2014 | 12:40PM
808comp wrote:
Just what BJ ordered.
on June 26,2014 | 12:45PM
HawaiiBlogger wrote:
DO NOT build a staduim with less than 50,000 seats !!!! If we're going to do this....do it right !!!!
on June 26,2014 | 12:45PM
steveoctober wrote:
Yea, let's build a 100k seat domed stadium. After all, we might host the Olympics one day, right? Don't stop there either - build an Olympic village while we're at it. Have the homeless reside there until we win the bid for the games.
on June 26,2014 | 02:56PM
false wrote:
Down boy!
on June 26,2014 | 08:36PM
VikkiP wrote:
How a lot of taxpayers forget, don't you remember that when it was built it would rust but it would be good rust! It is the shortsightness of our elected officials that it would be obsolete before it was built?Just as our freeway systems, none of those idiots could even think that the population was going to grow. I often wonder why we can't attract good of anything because of the corruption and mismanagement we continue to have. How sad that are children don't want to return once they complete college, HUMMM
on June 26,2014 | 01:05PM
HawaiiMongoose wrote:
It would be utterly short-sighted and foolish to accept a capacity below 40,000.
on June 26,2014 | 01:09PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
I have to disagree. Smaller capacity also means quicker sellouts, which should also mean increased PPV (if we're only talking about UH football). Of course, regardless of the size of the stadium, if the product on the field continues to struggle, it'll feel a lot less lonely in a 40k seater than Aloha Stadium.
on June 26,2014 | 01:33PM
lokela wrote:
Hey before you guys even think of spending on a new stadium make sure you send us our tax refunds.
on June 26,2014 | 01:28PM
berrygood wrote:
Well if you build in the same location, you won't get any increase in student participation. If UH oversees the building of the new stadium, it won't be completed until 2050 and have cracks running all through the sides and probably have drainage problems. 20,000 to 30,000 seats will probably make it look more full when UH plays University of Arkansas school of Audio Visual Tech academy for the Arts. You could knock down the stadium and lay down Astro turf and just have people watch from their vehicles. Better yet have the natural seating that is available in the crater at Mauna Kea and UH would have the advantage of playing at altitude. If you want world class events and the ProBowl to stay, it appears to me that you have to go big and build a stadium near town close enough to the school and hotels to attract the populous. A stadium that defines Honolulu. Otherwise it's just another place to have a swap meet..JMO
on June 26,2014 | 01:44PM
4sanitysake wrote:
40,000 seats makes sense...quicker sell out of seats increases the television money for events. With corporate sky boxes and stadium configuration that can accommodate other types of sports like soccer and rugby in addition to football, the stadium could be well used year round aside from the occasional concert.
on June 26,2014 | 02:19PM
false wrote:
Yippee! Hooray! Another study done on the stadium. This report will gather dust, as others have, until another study is requested. My thoughts: Even a 30,000 capacity is too much. As others have said, it's better to have a full house in a small stadium than a half empty one in a large stadium. Analogy: Aren't you more tempted to eat in a restaurant full of customers rather than one with few customers?
on June 26,2014 | 02:29PM
false wrote:
I think it's time to make a multi complex within the stadium. Build a bigger field so soccer games can be played on the surface. On the entrance side build an Olympic size pool a joining the stadium. Also, build one huge roller coaster on the upper end of the parking lot so the University can generate monies throughout the year. We do need two priviate investors name: Oprah and Mr. Lanai, could also use bonds...
on June 26,2014 | 02:34PM
IkaikaClothingofHNL wrote:
Bye bye Pro Bowl!
on June 26,2014 | 02:53PM
Beaglebagels wrote:
My study suggests we bring back June Jones, win games, pack da house and then hire an outside firm that will tell us that we need a 60,000 seat stadium!
on June 26,2014 | 03:24PM
ehowzit wrote:
on June 26,2014 | 03:33PM
KB wrote:
Who is the primary user? in the report . And what is the revenue stream .
on June 26,2014 | 03:38PM
hawaiiguy50 wrote:
I know that it going to cost, but right now, we're continually throwing money down the well by upkeeping the current rust bucket. Was innovative when it was built, but that was nearly 40 years ago. Would be nice to put it in a place where there is a lot of open space, but having it in Halawa is OK with me. How about tying it into the rail system, so that people can exit the transit and walk right into the stadium? That makes sense to me. The time is right to start moving toward a new stadium. Just think what new facility could attract to our state
on June 26,2014 | 03:41PM
Use any money you have to repair your academic buildings.
on June 26,2014 | 03:43PM
den1718 wrote:
A stadium is for use for the general public . Raise tuition for funding the academic buildings.
on June 26,2014 | 06:42PM
rayhawaii wrote:
Build it in Kapolei area. Put some condos on the old stadium land or make a Central Park. Plus get some billionaire to pay for the new stadium to have it named after him and his name to be remembered forever. What's that guys name who bought an island over here?
on June 26,2014 | 03:59PM
false wrote:
Mufi Hannemann.
on June 26,2014 | 05:13PM
I have read over several comments and have not seen any comment relating to the current way UH is screwed out of the revenue it generates. There needs to be some sort of concession drawn up so that UH reeps what it deserves and the funds are not mismanaged. We, in Hawaii are already at a serious disadvantage with travel subsidies and other costs that any other school in the US do not have to deal with. Until a reasonable resolution can be made to keep the money at UH, then I say UH will never get a fair deal.
on June 26,2014 | 04:22PM
rayhawaii wrote:
The more games they win, the better the attendance the more money for UH. No wins no money.
on June 26,2014 | 05:25PM
jusjoking wrote:
Carnac will now open the jam jar. The stadium site is on the rail line. The present stadium is obsolete. The powers that be have produced a "study", that supports a new; less obsolete stadium lacking site or accurate costs. The prp people and our state development agencies have a mass orgasm at the thought of the money generated from development income at the Aloha Stadium site.
on June 26,2014 | 05:07PM
jusjoking wrote:
It's about the site people. On the rail line. Under utilized obsolete stadium. What do you all think this is about?
on June 26,2014 | 05:10PM
DownSpout wrote:
Our family attended the Aloha Bowl in 1989, UH vs. Michigan State. The stadium was absolutely packed with 50,000 fans on a Christmas morning. Twenty-five years later, are we saying those days are gone forever?
on June 26,2014 | 05:33PM
admiral wrote:
Yup. College football has changed completely during the past quarter-century, with the most recent and ongoing power conference realignments and TV deals leaving UH and other less financially endowed schools now permanently on the outside looking in. To say nothing of the fact that the increasingly required high six-figure subsidies for visiting teams having to travel to the most remote archipelago in the world already are breaking the bank. A decade from now UH is more likely to be out of the football business altogether--putting it on the same footing as many universities that don't miss it one bit, including great schools like UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and many more. Dreams of ever joining the Pac 12 are just that, dreams....pipedreams. And spending a quarter-billion dollars on what is nothing more than a nostalgic yearning for days long gone is almost the definition of insanity. Which, of course, is why the State Legislature and UH most likely will do precisely that.
on June 26,2014 | 06:25PM
Waialua1 wrote:
1. Private Management. 2. Just win 3. Sales and Marketing to get more events 4. 40K seats, close out the top....
on June 26,2014 | 06:36PM
george702 wrote:
Say Aloha Pro Bowl. Does anyone REALLy believe it will only cost 200 million?? It would be close to 50 million for kickbacks and worthless environmental impact statement studies and donations to "civic" groups. Generally whatever the politicians and consultants estimate just double it and then you might get an accurate cost.
on June 26,2014 | 06:58PM
atilter wrote:
did not know that charles toguchi is now the chair of the stadium authority. considering his political connections, i am not surprised. however, that being said, this chairman-ship leaves me with a suspicion that this study may not turn out to be a good thing or go anywhere. our public schools did not fair very well under his stewardship/leadership as superintendent - when much was promised but not completed. just saying as one perspective...! very doubtful, i am!
on June 26,2014 | 07:19PM
Mana07 wrote:
What a load of...we have conceded to mediocrity? How about a marketing plan? How about throwing the worthless stadium authority out on their arises? Are we just giving up the pro bowl? This is ridiculous.
on June 26,2014 | 08:20PM
UHFAN1984 wrote:
Here we go again with these studies just renovate the stadium you can do a lot with 192 million. How much did they pay these guys fo the study.
on June 26,2014 | 09:32PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Yeah, that's how. Think small! Just like Hawaii always does. Sad.
on June 27,2014 | 12:35AM
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