Hawaii officials have shifted plans to renovate the aging Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, creating a new structure in which upgrades to the facility itself and development of an adjacent entertainment district will occur together.
A large-scale repair of the 48-year-old Aloha Stadium and creation of the district had previously been set to happen separately. But state politicians determined the split-project approach would have invited excessive cost overruns.
A public-private partnership will now focus on a single, integrated development, with $400 million in state funds already appropriated. The stadium itself is projected to cost less than $500 million.
“In the development world, the stadium was going to be the loss leader, it will be the crown jewel of the area, but it’s not the moneymaker,” said state senator Glenn Wakai to KHON-TV.
Aloha Stadium was the site of the NFL’s Pro Bowl in all but two years between 1980 and 2016, and also served as the longtime home of college football’s Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and hosted numerous bowl games. But since late 2020, the stadium has been closed due to a series of safety and pandemic-related issues.
A new Aloha Stadium – with a capacity roughly halved from its original 50,000 – is expected to be ready for the Rainbow Warriors’ 2028 football season.