Friday, June 27, 2008

Aloha Stadium to be renovated

The estimated $185 million renovation of Aloha Stadium is expected to transform the rusting, 33-year-old facility into a "new stadium," a state official said.

"It'll be just like when you walked into the stadium the first time," state Comptroller Russ Saito said yesterday after a stadium improvements presentation at the monthly Aloha Stadium board meeting.

"The seats were all shiny. The colors were bright. The steps you walked on were all solid. All of that will be refurbished. It will be like a new stadium."

The renovation project — aimed at extending the lifespan of the 50,000-seat multi-purpose facility for another 30 years — will entail several phases.

The initial stage is aimed at fixing "the health and safety issues of the stadium," according to Stadium Authority Chairman Kevin Chong Kee.

Later stages, aimed at enhancing "the spectator experience" and generating revenue, will explore adding luxury suites and several other amenities.

Saito said the project will start in March, with major work being done between the end of the NFL's 2009 Pro Bowl and the University of Hawai'i football season. The makeover is expected to be completed in 2013.

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