New Honolulu Stadium Won’t Open Until 2028

    FILE - The Hawaii team takes the field before an NCAA college football game against Nevada in Reno, Nev., Oct. 16, 2021. The Hawaii Bowl was canceled Thursday, Dec. 23, on the eve of the game after Hawaii withdrew because of COVID-19, season-ending injuries and transfers. “We are disappointed our season has to end this way,” Hawaii coach Todd Graham said in a statement. “As competitive as we are and as much as we want to play the game, we cannot put the health and safety of our student-athletes at risk.” (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File)

    The old stadium closed in 2020.

    The state of Hawaii is back to square one in its attempt to replace Aloha Stadium with a stadium-village and that may push back the opening of the facility to 2028. 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 were sold. 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. There is no plan right now.

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    Army quarterback Christian Anderson (13) gets shoved out of bounds by Hawaii defensive back Khoury Bethley (5) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)