Hawaii Cannot Come Up With A Stadium Plan

The old stadium is slated for the wrecking ball.

The state of Hawaii is back to square one in its attempt to replace Aloha Stadium with a stadium-village. The Honolulu facility opened on September 12th, 1975 and closed on December 17th, 2020 because of financial issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic and structural problems. Local residents said a final aloha to the stadium on February 25th and some of the structure’s artifacts are up for sale. But plans to replace the stadium have fallen through and the state is looking at issuing a Request For Proposal to develop the property with the hope that a private developer can work out a monetary deal with Hawaiian officials to move the project ahead. Previous plans were deemed too expensive.

During its 45-year run, the stadium was the home of the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors, and hosted 35 National Football League Pro Bowl games from 1980 through 2016. The World Football League’s Hawaiians performed there in 1975 and the stadium was the last place where the WFL snapped a football. Minor League Baseball’s Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League used the place from 1976 until 1987. The North American Soccer League’s Team Hawaii played home games in the stadium in 1977. In 1979, MLB’s San Diego Padres played a three-game preseason series against the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Pacific League at the stadium. In 1997, MLB held a three-game regular season series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Padres at the stadium. In August 2019, the stadium hosted its last NFL event, a preseason game between the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys. There was a notion that a 35,000-seat stadium along with office, retail and residential space would have been the right plan for the property. Hawaiian officials are hopeful the new stadium-village plan can be hatched with the stadium-village open in 2027.

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File-This Feb. 7, 1993, file photo shows Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino (13) of the AFC squad, under pressure from New Orleans linebacker Rickey Jackson (57) and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Reggie White (92) of the NFC squad in the first quarter of the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii. TV ratings for the Pro Bowl lag below all the prime time regular season games, and the on-field intensity and drama that fuels so much of the national interest in the sport is nonexistent. The annual all-star exhibition does not lack for history, however, with a genesis traced back to the 1938 season. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)