University of Hawaii athletics had a lucrative banner day Monday and none of its teams were playing.
In the space of 20 minutes at the state Capitol, UH got a $5 million annual appropriation ($4.6 million for Manoa and $400,000 for UH Hilo) from the Legislature and the promise of a new $350 million stadium to replace soon-to-be 45-year old Aloha Stadium signed into law.
Both measures passed the Legislature in May and were signed by Gov. David Ige in ceremonies Monday afternoon.
“It is a very good day,” UH President David Lassner acknowledged in attending both signings.
Gov. Ige said the Aloha Stadium measure will “point the way” for the future stadium that is to rise in Halawa as part of a public-private partnership to be undertaken by the Stadium Authority in conjunction with the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
The Legislature appropriated $350 million — $50 million in general revenue, $150 million in reimbursable general obligation bonds and $150 million in general obligation bonds — to help fund the project.
Work on an environmental impact statement and a master plan is currently underway and construction could begin as early as 2022 with an opening possibly in 2024.
Stadium officials thanked Gov. Ige as well as key committee leaders Rep. Sylvia Luke and Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz for getting the stadium measure funded and passed.