Entering its 43rd year, Aloha Stadium has, “… served its useful life and is now a liability to fan experiences, a potential danger to public health and safety and a financial burden for maintenance and operations,” a consultant’s report warns.
Read the redevelopment report and structural review here.
The report notes “… inspections have identified pieces of the building that have actually fallen into public areas of the facility (fortunately the stadium was vacant at the time) bringing to reality the venue’s immediate and long-term risks to fans, the Stadium Authority and the State of Hawaii.”
The 180-page “Aloha Stadium Conceptual Redevelopment Report” and an accompanying 312-page structural review, which were accepted today by the Aloha Stadium Authority, were cited by a consultant who is recommending the building of a new stadium adjacent to the rusting Halawa facility as part of a redevelopment master plan.
The appointed nine-member authority is not bound by the reports but they are expected to provide a baseline for helping the governor and legislature determine the future of the state’s largest entertainment facility and open the way to soliciting proposals from prospective developers.
The reports were commissioned by the state Department of Accounting and General Services as part of what has so far been a 3-1/2-year process to determine the current stadium’s fate.
The 50,000-seat facility opened in 1975 with a $37 million price tag. Since 1990, $87.9 million has been spent in additional construction, the report said.
Moreover, the state faces $300 million in current health and safety repairs with another $121 million for disability improvements and to bring the stadium to current code requirements, an average of $30 million a year if spread over the next 25 years, the reports said.
It would be cheaper, according to consultants, to build and operate a new 30,000-35,000-seat stadium with the ability to expand to 40,000 seats for special events.
The new stadium, which would be built adjacent to the current facility, would cost $324.5 million in 2017 dollars and require 36 percent less square footage, reducing operating expenses, the report says.
To help finance its construction the state would seek bids from developers for the remaining portion of the parcel.
A bill before the legislature would give the Stadium Authority expanded powers to redevelop the property as part of a complex.
The facility proposed by the consultant would be a U-shaped bowl open at the north end, which planners said would, “…provide a ‘window’ into the stadium from the adjoining ancillary development and stadium plaza, emphasizing the synergy between the new multi-use venue and the adjacent mixed-use district. The open end of the stadium would feature a sloping grass berm, where spectators could casually watch events in a picnic-like atmosphere.”
In the meantime, a study by Wiss, Janney, Elster Associates Inc. says, “The unpredictability of future corrosion-related structural damage leads to the recommendation that recurring structural (two-year) inspections take place so that active corrosion can be identified before the extent of corrosion-related damage reduces calculated structural capacity of a member or connection to a level below structural acceptability.”
The WJE report calls for “the next recurring inspection of the existing Aloha Stadium is recommended to be completed no later than February 2018, unless conditions come to light that warrant a shorter interval between inspections.”