Hawaii Governor Switches Strategy on New Aloha Stadium Plans

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Hawaii governor David Ige said this week that his administration is going "in a different direction" with plans to build a new Aloha Stadium. 

As a result of the shift in direction, Ige has ordered a halt to all requests for proposals for the $350 million stadium and the adjoining New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District. 

According to the Star Advertiser, the move comes after a recent shift that put the stadium under control of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism instead of the Department of Accounting and General Services.

“Both RFPs that you have been working on in DAGS should not be going forward as we will be moving in a different direction under DBEDT. Please consider tying up any loose ends from your side," wrote Ige's chief of staff Linda Chu Takayama in an email to comptroller Curt Otaguro.

The email also indicated that Ige will approve the Environmental Impact Statement to build in the Halawa area. 

“Our current strategy is to accept the original EIS on stadium very soon, acknowledging that the responsibility and funding for the stadium now rests with the Stadium Authority and DBEDT,” Takayama wrote.

Otaguro expressed surprise at the decision, saying that the "model we thought made sense was (Public Private Partnership). It’s one of the few that could make a profit long-term.”

The UH football team has played its home games at the on-campus Ching Complex since last season. The team’s former home, Aloha Stadium, which opened in 1975, was closed for safety reasons in December 2020.

Cindy McMillan, Ige’s communications director, told the Star-Advertiser late this afternoon, “The administration is currently conducting its due diligence following the enactment of laws this year relating to Aloha Stadium.

“We are committed to developing a feasible course of action for the University’s sports programs, UH fans, and the State of Hawaii,” she said

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