The University of Hawaii is pitching a $165-million Aloha Stadium replacement that will be built as much for soccer as for college football.
Initial planning for a proposed 30,000-seat multi-purpose stadium calls for a full soccer pitch — 110 to 120 yards long and 60 to 70 yards wide — as part of the new facility in order to host international matches. From KHON 2:
This concept will allow for other sports like rugby and soccer. The new national president of AYSO soccer lives here in Honolulu – and he would like to see any new stadium with a soccer field about 110 to 120 yards long – and 60 to 70 yards wide. And he says the governing body that sanctions international competition will have one specific demand. “Ideally you’re looking for a grass field because FIFA requires natural grass rather than turf if you’re going to be playing any international matches, said Mark Stewart, AYSO National President.
When asked about stadium capacity, Stewart responded “if you stay in the 30,000 to 35,000 seats that’s more than sufficient.”
The soccer integration doesn’t necessarily impact the cost or the design of the facility, but given the cost of land in Honolulu and the desire of the University of Hawaii to create a community resource instead of a pure football stadium (events are expected to be a big part of the mix), it’s a good thing to see soccer planned from the start instead of being jammed into a smaller football field. An Aloha Stadium replacement would make sense — the old stadium is falling down and would cost almost as much to renovate as it would to replace.