Think About It: Stadium Roulette - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 17, 2014

Think About It: Stadium Roulette

A new stadium! Oh boy! First we had the recommendations of a scaled-down 30- to 35,000 seat facility from an Aloha Stadium Authority consultant, and then we had a 30,585 seat suggestion from the University of Hawaii which included a lawn area among the seats, apparently for kids to run around and bother serious fans. In actuality, sports fans, we already have a 35,000 seat stadium… it's called Aloha Stadium. And other than a Pro Bowl now and then in our future, the immediate need for more than 35,000 seats does not exist.

Well here's a thought. Rather than spend about $200-million to build a new facility in town, or at Halawa, or in Kapolei, how about we take half of that money, retrofit and upgrade the current stadium quickly, and simply close off the top section all the way around Aloha Stadium for now, until the UH football team can lure more than 30,000 fans to come to the existing Stadium? While paying consultants for nice drawings and grand plans might appear to be progressive and pro-active, is there any concrete rationale to assume that there's adequate funding for such a concrete venture to take place?

And when this much-needed retrofit at Aloha Stadium takes place, set aside enough money for scaffolding, staging, lighting and an acceptable sound system that should help to encourage more concert events to take place without cost concerns killing such ideas before they even start. With the urgent, pressing, and annual financial needs of the state, a brand new government-funded stadium is probably just a pipedream, unless it is also privately funded with major retail and residential presence around it to help offset costs. Let's commit to really fix the 40-year old Aloha Stadium and make it viable for fans and magnet attractions like concerts, monster truck rallies, soccer matches, the Pro Bowl, the Hawaii Bowl, and other big-time events in the years ahead. If we re-build it, they will come; we hope. Think about it…

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