UH Considers Stadium Plan

Aloha Stadium at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu turns 40 this year and is due for a makeover.

Photo: facebook.com/alohastadiumhawaii

University officials estimate the 50,419-capacity stadium needs at least $120 million in improvements to continue operating for another five to 10 years.

But two consultants recommended to the Aloha Stadium Authority that a new, but smaller, multipurpose facility be built. And UH football fans are not happy. A consultant with Foley & Lardner, a New York law firm, recommended a “30,000- to 35,000-seat stadium on the lower portion of the (current) stadium site.”

The new stadium could be built for $132 million to $192 million, the consultant said.

A firm in Los Angeles commissioned by the University of Hawaii in a report this week offered the concept of a 30,585-seat multipurpose facility build for $165 million to $190 million, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Only about 40 people showed up to an ASA meeting to hear the proposals, but several spoke out in concern over the reduced seating in both proposals.

“I think it would be a travesty to limit it to 30,000 seats,” said Kent Untermann, a businessman and former University of Hawaii football player. “I think we really need to go big or UH football will not exist if we to 30,000.”

But Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said his group contends the seating capacity of 35,000 to 40,000 would be sufficient if luxury or VIP boxes are included.

McCartney also urged consideration of a design that allows for the addition of temporary seating. The new facility should accommodate multiple sports and concerts, festivals, exhibits and large meetings, he said.