Star-Bulletin Sports

Aloha Stadium’s
Fieldturf surface
unlikely by Aug. 2

Gov. Cayetano still hopes for
installation before the season starts

By Dave Reardon

Fieldturf CEO John Gilman doesn't want to give up on getting his product into Aloha Stadium in time for the start of football season.

But the numbers just don't add up.

"The surface work will take two-to-three weeks, one week to take the AstroTurf out and two weeks to install," Gilman said.

That's five or six weeks, at best. The problem is that the Stadium Authority imposed deadline is Aug. 2, which is less than three weeks from today.

Gov. Ben Cayetano held a meeting yesterday to get an update on why work hasn't started on installation a month after Stadium Authority approval.

Gilman, the Hawaii Tourism Authority and members of the Stadium Authority have spent the time trying to attain the needed approvals and figuring out how much work needs to be done on the stadium floor prior to installation.

There were unforeseen delays in getting results from a coring sample, and new roadblocks have appeared, including a slew of required permits that Gilman was not told about, some not until last week.

"It took a bit of time, but we think we have everything now," Gilman said. "The studies have confirmed that there's less work to do than we thought (on the stadium floor)."

Still, he would not comment on whether it is still possible to get the surface installed by Aug. 2. Cayetano and others are hoping for an extension to the deadline, and will meet again Monday.

"I just know that we've never missed a delivery date and we won't start a job we can't deliver," Gilman said.

Rick Humphreys of the Hawaii Tourism Authority -- which contracted with the NFL to change the stadium surface to grass or Fieldturf -- hopes the job can still be done in time for the first football game of the season, on Aug. 25.

"We're sure trying," he said. "Time's the big issue. If you don't have time, the rest doesn't matter."

Cost is still a question. If and when the job becomes a go, the NFL, Fieldturf and the HTA will have to figure out who pays how much.

"I can't comment on the money part at this time," said Gilman, who initially quoted an $877,500 price tag, of which the HTA has agreed to pay $500,000.

If it can't be done now, the turf could still conceivably be installed before the Feb. 3 Pro Bowl if work begins soon after the Dec. 25 Hawaii Bowl.

"That's another window," Humphreys said. "But we're focusing on this period now. Nothing is final at this point. We need to make sure we have the time to do it and to do it right."

E-mail to Sports Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --