Gov. Green puts cost of new Aloha Stadium at 'under $500M'

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Feb. 28—A new Aloha Stadium surrounded by housing and an entertainment district can now be had for "under $500 million, " Gov. Josh Green said Monday.

A new Aloha Stadium surrounded by housing and an entertainment district can now be had for "under $500 million, " Gov. Josh Green said Monday.

Previous costs were estimated as high as $440 million.

Green appeared on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's "Spotlight Hawaii " livestream program where he initially estimated that a new Aloha Stadium could cost $400 million to $450 million. He then adjusted the estimates to "under $500 million " for an Aloha Stadium that could be used by children, high school students and concertgoers and possibly attract international rugby and "U.S. soccer."

Green said taxpayers should not bear additional costs and suggested that corporate naming rights on a new stadium could help offset the price tag.

Green made repeated references to his Cabinet nominations, which got off to a rough start when Ikaika Anderson withdrew as his nominee to run the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands after failing to gain a recommendation during a Feb. 14 confirmation hearing.

"It was like a Valentine's massacre on Ikaika, " Green said in reference to the blistering five-hour hearing Anderson endured before the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, with four of the five senators voting against full Senate confirmation.

Green suggested that the future of Aloha Stadium is connected to the Senate confirmations of some of his other Cabinet nominees, including Chris Sadayasu to run the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism ; and Keith Regan, comptroller for the Department of Accounting and General Services.

DBEDT is already playing a key role in the future of Aloha Stadium, and "I can't build a stadium if I don't have a DAGS director and if I don't have a land use group and if I don't have the people in place on housing, " Green said.

The future of Aloha Stadium—whether it remains a stand-alone stadium or combination of housing and entertainment district—depends on efforts by Green's administration to find a united vision over the next 30 to 45 days to find a compromise between the state House and Senate.

Either approach works for Green, who said, "Our team did inherit kind of an impasse between the House and Senate."

A housing component also will rely on cooperation from the military for housing and infrastructure from the nearby Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

In addition to the stadium, Green mentioned that the state will work with the military on the future of Red Hill ; the leak of diesel fuel at the Space Force's Maui Space Surveillance Complex at the summit of Haleakala ; the military's role in housing ; and negotiations on upcoming military land leases, which he promised will be transparent.

"All these things are tied together, " he said. "All this stuff is connected."

The military, he said, needs to be "a much better partner on the infrastructure needs of our state. ... What you're seeing is a larger discussion about how the military coexists in Hawaii."

Asked about the failure of Anderson to win confirmation, Green said that "it stings when you get stomped like that."

Green said his advice for his remaining 19 Cabinet nominees, plus Anderson's replacement—former DHHL Director Kali Watson—is, "Be yourself, be caring, show that you have acumen to work on the issues. Don't try to snow anybody."