Renderings envision future of Neal S. Blaisdell Center


Plans to renovate and update the Neal S. Blaisdell Center are moving forward.

The city held a pop-up event at Tamarind Park in downtown Honolulu to share its latest ideas with the community.

Officials have held dozens of community meetings over the past few years to gather input and ideas.

Now, they’re one step closer to finalizing a master plan.

Newly released renderings show what the entertainment campus could look like post-renovation.

The concert hall would undergo technical upgrades with ADA accommodations. It would share back-of-house operations with a nearby performance hall that could provide 1,500 seats in flexible configurations. There would be practice, classroom, and office space for performing arts groups. The performance hall would be adjacent to the exhibition hall, which would host community events. Meanwhile, the arena and sports pavilion would feature a fully enclosed concourse and lobbies, and expanded backstage areas. There would also be a civic plaza with fishponds.

“They’re sort of the culmination of all the information and the stories and the dreams that people have been sharing with us over time,” explained Guy Kaulukukui, director of the city Department of Enterprise Services. “I think the folks are really hopeful for this design.”

“It helps us make sure as we design for the future, we not only preserve those memories, but we enhance them,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Perhaps we can redesign the arena in a way where you can fit more people in, because we have sometimes 10,000 to 12,000 people wanting to come to a graduation. How do we provide the seating in such a way that everyone can see their graduate on the stage?”

Other ideas that have strong public support include enhancing the center’s water features and keeping prices affordable.

The city is still accepting public input. Officials say it could take 12 to 18 months to come up with a final design.

If you’d like to share your ideas, visit ImagineBlaisdell.com.

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