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3 former governors propose building new stadium at UH Manoa, using Aloha Stadium lot for affordable housing

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3 former governors propose building new stadium at UH Manoa, using Aloha Stadium lot for affordable housing

As the state continues to finalize its plans for its New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District (NASED), former governors Neil Abercrombie, John Waihe'e, and Ben Cayetano released a statement Tuesday arguing it should be scrapped completely. 

"For years there has been talk about a new stadium out in Halawa, and some development around it, but it's never gotten off the ground," Abercrombie said. 

Instead of the NASED, Abercrombie and the other former governors suggest the state build its new stadium at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa T.C. Ching Athletics complex and designate the 98-acre Halawa lot for affordable housing. 

Abercrombie argued the UH administration and athletics department could organize efficient plans for construction and management, "from conception to construction, to completion, less than a year."

Currently, the state predicts it'll take three years to build its 35,000 seat stadium at the Halawa location. 

Using the land for affordable housing, Abercrombie said, is needed to house O'ahu families struggling to own homes of their own, as the median price for a single-family house stands at $1,050,000.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors reported two out of every three homes sold on O'ahu last month went above the asking price. 

In response to the proposal, State Comptroller Curt Otaguro, who oversees finances for the proposed stadium district, said he appreciates the governor's interests and ideas. 

"Over the past decade, the state has listened to many options and we are confident that our current vision to build a smaller mixed-use stadium attached to an entertainment district has gained the support of our local residents and community," Otaguro added in a statement to KITV-4. 

Abercrombie said, "we're not trying to start a fight with anybody, we're not saying anything against the good intentions of the people so far, but it never got started, and so the circumstances have changed."

In his written response, Otaguro said the state is encouraged to fulfill its plan because of the interest from developers -- and it is on track to issue the stadium's request for proposals before the end of December.