Fix it or tear it down? That's a question some have been asking about Aloha Stadium, but there may be a better idea.
Earlier this summer, University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay commissioned the Gensler Design and Architectural Firm in Los Angeles to design of a new football stadium for the university. The $15,000 designs were for a 30,000 to 35,000-seat multi-purpose facility.
Without a location in mind, Jay wanted to find out how much it would cost to build, how much land would be needed and what it could possibly look like.
"I was really impressed at what the firm did for us, in terms of taking our ideas and turning them into something I think is an excellent facility for the state of Hawaii. Not only just for Hawaii football, but I think for all different types of events we could be hosting here in the islands," said Jay.
The designed facility is estimated to cost $165 million without a roof or about $190 million with a roof. It also includes up to 30 luxury suites and the facility would take up about 10.5 acres of land.
To build a campus facility away from the UH campus raised some concern.
"There's really not enough room on this campus to build a facility like that. Then again, the idea was something that was not site specific," said Jay. "Up until now, [there has been] a lot of speculation as to what it might cost. I've always thought that with a compact design and an optimum number of seats, you could probably keep it under $200 million."
If the facility receives the green light, Jay says UH would need assistance with the funding.
"I don't think we're in the position to raise that kind of money. It would definitely have to come with state help," said Jay.
Jay says the stadium concept idea was not motivated by any one event, such as more control of stadium practices.
"This is simply a study to talk about a concept idea; nothing more. What would it look like and how much would it cost and how big could it be," said Jay.
Jay says if the school moves ahead and actually builds a new facility it would have to take a hard look at a private development type deal.
Last month a consultant hired by the Aloha Stadium Authority recommended tearing down the existing stadium and building a smaller stadium that seats about 30,000 to 35,000 people in one of the lower lots.
Construction costs were estimated at $132 million to $192 million. That study cost $250,000 and did not come with a design.
The Stadium Authority is hosting an open house Thursday for you to weigh in. It starts at 5 p.m. for stadium tours and 6 p.m. for the general meeting in the Aloha Stadium Hospitality Room.