Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • April 13, 2021
New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District Aims For September 2023 Opening

We are a little more three years away from a drastic, drastic change in Halawa.

Aloha Stadium as we know it now will be no more. Not only that, there will be a new, smaller, 35,000-seat stadium in its place along with what is planned to eventually be a bustling entertainment district. All of this is happening while the massive HART rail project is also coming our way. The first phase the rail — from Kapolei to the stadium — is scheduled to be operational in March 2021.

New Aloha Stadium

As of June 16, 2020, this rendering of the new Aloha Stadium was the most recent concept design for the proposed 35,000-seat venue. As planning and collaboration continues, this concept design will evolve and updates will be released. (Courtesy of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District).

According to the project planners, the State of Hawaii received six responses from developers in its request for qualifications. “It’s clear from the six responses we received that the NASED vision is commanding major interest from developers who each wish to be the group selected to partner with the State of Hawaii,” Chris Kinimaka, public works administrator for the Department of Accounting and General Services, said in a news release. “We have received responses from a number of very reputable companies with outstanding credentials and experience, which is a positive sign from both a quantity and quality standpoint.” The state planned to identify by the end of July (today) at least three developer-led teams to go through the request for proposal process. After RFPs are recieved by October, they’ll be evaluated through December. A public-private partnership with one of the developers is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

The project’s environmental impact statement and master planning process is nearly completed.

This flyby-style video highlights concept renderings for the New Aloha Stadium and Entertainment District, providing a virtual view of some preliminary possibilities for the 98-acre parcel of land. It shows three possible locations for the new stadium that are under consideration. One location option for the new stadium is the current one. Another option is west of the existing stadium, and the third option is to the south. The possible stadium locations and concept renderings are preliminary and only serve to highlight some of the possibilities so the public can provide comments and offer feedback to planners.

The University of Hawaii’s home football game against Albany on Sept. 2, 2023, is the projected opening date. Eventually, the site will offer what planners are calling a “full complement” of live, work, and play components and other assets. The build-up of entertainment venues, retail stores, restaurants, housing, hotels, recreational sites, cultural amenities and green space will be done in phases over the next 10 to 15 years.

Planners are also saying that all existing tenants of Aloha Stadium and the adjacent land will be accommodated (and not affected) during construction of the New Aloha Stadium.

New Aloha StadiumThis is what Aloha Stadium looked like in October, 1975. (Photo courtesy of Alan Straub).
New Aloha Stadium

Before Aloha Stadium opened in 1975, big sporting events in Hawaii were held at Honolulu Stadium at the corner of King and Isenberg streets. (Photo from ImagesOfOldHawaii.com).

SOME HAPPENINGS AT THE OLD ALOHA STADIUM (Source: AlohaStadium.Hawaii.gov):

1975

>> A crowd of 32,247 (about 50,000 capacity) comes to support the UH football team against Texas A&I on Sept. 13.

>> The Hawaiians of the World Football League play Jacksonville in the first pro game in Halawa.

1976

>> Brazilian soccer star Pele and the New York Cosmos put 21,705 in the seats for a victory over Team Japan.

>> The San Francisco 49ers beat the San Diego Chargers 17-15 in the first NFL exhibition game at the stadium.

1978

>> A crowd of 48,767 watch USC defeat UH 21-5 in football.

1980

>> The first of 34 Pro Bowl games at the stadium is played.

1982

>> The Aloha Bowl debuts, with Washington defeating Maryland 21-20

1986

>> A Frank Sinatra concerts draws more than 25,000.

1987

The Hawaii Islanders play their final AAA season of minor league baseball in the stadium before moving to Colorado Springs, Colo.

1989

The UH football team makes its first NCAA bowl appearance, losing 33-13 to Michigan State.

1997

>> Michael Jackson plays in back-to-back sellout concerts.

1997

>> The San Diego Padres host a three-game, regular-season series against the St. Lous Cardinals over two days, drawing 77,432.

2007

>> The UH football team beats Boise State 39-27 for the school’s first outright conference championship in front of a school-record crowd of 49,651.

>> The UH football team completes a 12-0 regular season to clinch a Sugar Bowl berth with a comeback 35-28 victory over Washington in front of 49,566.

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ALSO AT NICKABRAMO.COM Opinion: Expect No Hawaii High Scool Football Ths Fall

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