Calls to back Hawaii stadium P3 option

A senator has urged the Hawaiian authorities to return to the P3 option to deliver the New Aloha Stadium project in Honolulu after the state’s attorney-general waded into the dispute.

Senator Glenn Wakai has called on the authorities to drop Governor David Ige’s suggestion of moving in a new direction with the project, and instead press on with the P3 option that has been on the table for several years.

His comments follow a meeting of the Aloha Stadium Authority board, where he asked Attorney General Holly T. Shikada about whether the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) is acting beyond its powers by trying to cancel the P3 approach in favor of a publicly funded model.

In an email responding to Wakai’s questions, reported by the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the attorney general confirmed that while the Stadium Authority owns the land, DBEDT has the $350m appropriated by the legislature to build the stadium.

“Without an agreement between both the Stadium Authority and DBEDT, a stadium cannot be constructed,” the email concluded.

In response, Wakai posted a message on his Facebook page insisting the P3 should be reinstated: “The AG agrees with me that the Stadium Authority, not DBEDT, is driving this project. Let’s cut out the empty ‘new direction’ suggestion, and just pull the trigger on a public-private partnership for this project. We have wasted 15 months since the RFP has been ready, and costs are escalating.”