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University of Hawaii regents approve $30M plan to expand Ching stadium to 17,000 seats

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A $30 million two-part plan to remake part of UH Manoa’s athletic facilities — including an expansion of the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex football field from 9,350 seats to 16,909 — was approved Thursday during the University of Hawaii Board of Regents meeting.

As part of the plan to expand the Ching Complex, the track will be relocated to the grass practice fields on UH’s lower campus. A soccer pitch would also be built inside the track for Rainbow Wahine soccer matches, with the field events being held outside of the track.

Construction for the expansion of the Ching Complex is scheduled to begin in January 2023 and be completed by August of that year, according to the proposal provided for the Board of Regents meeting. The construction for the relocation of the track and building of a soccer pitch are scheduled to begin in May 2023 and be completed by May 2024. The two projects are estimated to cost $15 million each.

The plan passed by a vote of nine to one. Gabriel Lee was the only regent to vote no, while Wayne Higaki was absent from the vote.

The university is scheduled to receive $50 million in one-time federal funds relating to meeting requirements associated with federal funding from the pandemic relief acts. While the money cannot be used for capital improvement projects such as the Ching Complex expansion, it provides the university with the ability to use tuition and fees special funds to fund the two projects.

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