Hawaii athletics: UH benefits from $350M for future stadium plus $5M appropriation

Gov. David Ige displayed one of two measures he signed at the Capitol on Monday in front of attendees, including UH President David Lassner, far right. / Photo by Ferd Lewis

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.

Gov. David Ige signed two measures benefiting UH athletics on Monday. / Photo by Ferd Lewis


  1. Warrior Dave July 8, 2019 5:32 pm

    Better late than never, I guess… long overdue support from lawmakers.

  2. H-Man July 8, 2019 7:23 pm

    Let’s see, UH football will have to pay a fee to play at the new stadium. They will not share in the revenue generated by parking, concession, stadium advertising and other revenue from various promotions. So why is this such a big deal for UH Athletics? The legislature will hold UH Athletics’ feet to the fire to deliver a balanced budget. Public outcry will be stimulated. Suggestions will float for UH to end the football program. And life will go on with the new stadium which will be used for rock concerts, monster truck shows, motorcycle racing and whatever promoters can dream up. And maybe the US Women’s soccer team might forgive Hawaii and hold a practice or exhibition match at the new stadium. Who knows, the Pro Bowl might come back to Hawaii.

  3. HawaiiMongoose July 8, 2019 11:17 pm

    Great news! I notice the planned seating capacity isn’t mentioned. Hopefully the powers that be are beginning to recognize that a 35,000-seat facility won’t cut it, especially if the Stadium Authority hopes to continue drawing world-class performing artists, NFL preseason games and the like. Moreover a winning UH football program will slowly build back the fan base that Norm Chow’s tenure nearly destroyed. A capacity of 40,000 seats should be targeted, which recognizes that a facility as large as Aloha Stadium is no longer required but seating must be sufficient to meet the state’s big-event needs for the next 40 to 50 years.

  4. Mytake July 9, 2019 9:04 am

    I think it’s going to be shaped like a horseshoe complete with. concert stage. I hope sound quality is improved with better speaker positioning.

  5. Makena July 9, 2019 9:27 am

    I think that eventually UH football will be discontinued in favor of more politically correct sports such as soccer and frisbee throwing. Locals don’t support UH football like before and favor teams such as Alabama, USC, Utah, Washington and the like. UH? Meh!!!

  6. Andrew July 9, 2019 11:15 am

    If they want to continue to attract NFL pre season events to Hawaii, they will have to re consider the 35,000 capacity plan. Even if the Pro Bowl wanted to come back regularly, 35k won’t cut it for them either. I can see some music artists as well that may not be wanting to come depending on how the layout is and how many more seats can be added and lost due to the way its structured

  7. Makena July 9, 2019 2:52 pm

    How much will the State charge UH to play at the new stadium? Same old way of running things. Don’t forget the most important thing in the SWAP MEET!

  8. amela July 10, 2019 4:10 am

    UH considers dropping football, never happening. Unless some idiot recommends a frisbee throwing contest.

  9. Row13 July 10, 2019 3:45 pm

    Build the new stadium in Kapolei near UH West Oahu. Use the Halawa site for workforce single-family houses & rental apartments, mixed-use commercial and a small industrial park.

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