Hawaii News Public financing for replacing Aloha Stadium not set yet By Andrew Gomes firstname.lastname@example.org Nov. 20, 2021 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! When three development teams receive requests next month to submit proposals for replacing Aloha Stadium, they may find that only a portion of $170 million in state funding is available for the estimated $400 million project. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. When three development teams receive requests next month to submit proposals for replacing Aloha Stadium, they may find that only a portion of $170 million in state funding is available for the estimated $400 million project. The state Department of Accounting and General Services has not yet decided how much of the appropriation from the Legislature granted earlier this year will be made available for building a new stadium to replace the state’s 46-year-old “rust palace” in Halawa. It’s possible that some of the taxpayer funding will be made available to other developers vying to compete for a separate but related DAGS project to redevelop 73 acres around the stadium’s 25-acre footprint where parking mainly exists today. It’s also possible lawmakers could provide more taxpayer money next year for one or both of the public- private-partnership projects, which together are expected to cost over $2 billion. The Legislature originally authorized up to $350 million for what was previously envisioned as one project to replace the stadium and redevelop surrounding land with homes, restaurants, retail, hotel rooms, office space and other commercial uses forming a New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District. Then after DAGS divided NASED in two pieces last year, lawmakers cut public funding by just over half. On Wednesday, DAGS notified three development teams, which were selected last December as the best qualified to take on NASED as one project, that they would receive a detailed request Dec. 15 to submit proposals for the stadium replacement project. During a news conference afterward, Chris Kinimaka, public works administrator for DAGS, said all three teams have confirmed they remain interested in building a new stadium. Kinimaka and others working on the procurement job expressed great expectations during the news conference about what could result. Ryan Andrews, the stadium’s acting manager, noted that a new stadium would have a wider field that can properly accommodate soccer and rugby, including professional leagues that could possibly play games in Hawaii. Ross Yamasaki, board chairman of the Stadium Authority that manages Aloha Stadium, said neighbor island sports teams will be able to ride the city’s rail system from the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to the stadium to play in events and make use of other features built as part of NASED. “The Stadium Authority is very excited,” he said. Kinimaka noted that realizing NASED will connect the stadium with surrounding communities and give the facility more of a soul. Curt Otaguro, who heads DAGS as state comptroller, said University of Hawaii football and other sports programs will benefit along with activities outside of sporting events, such as the swap meet, small businesses and more. “The sky’s the limit,” he said. “The NASED district is going to create a new fan experience. It’s going to create the community experience of countless opportunities to really integrate different aspects of what we offer for the state of Hawaii to our community.” Under the state’s plan, revenue from leasing real estate for up to 99 years to a private developer for residential and commercial uses around a new stadium would at least partially offset taxpayer expense for a new roughly 35,000-seat stadium replacing the existing 50,000-seat stadium that was declared unsafe for spectator use last year. A winning bidder to replace Aloha Stadium would design, finance, build and maintain the facility for 30 years but leave management to the Stadium Authority. Project leaders expect to receive stadium replacement proposals around the middle of next year. A committee would pick a winner around October. Then after financial arrangements are negotiated and finalized followed by permitting, construction is expected to begin in early 2023. It likely would take about two years to finish construction. A request for qualifications and rough ideas pertaining to the real estate portion of the project was published last month, and construction could begin in late 2022 or early 2023 after more detailed bids are sought and a winner is selected. Full development of the real estate around a new stadium could take a couple of decades or longer. Previous Story Facts of the Matter: Lubricating grease starts with oil and soap Next Story Kokua Line: How do I get my vital records from outside Hawaii?