Back in the not-so-good ol’ days, weddings came with an appeal process.

After months of budgeting and planning, just ahead of the I-do exchanges, there was a “speak now or forever hold your peace” portion. And in rare moments except for RomComs, somebody who can’t get over a crush objects to the union.

And that is the concern entering the next phase of building a replacement for Aloha Stadium.

With a prospective developer withdrawing from contention, there remains a lone bidder for the development of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, a project that includes razing the 48-year-old facility and building a 25,000-seat replacement.

The state already has pledged $400 million for the project. The developer would need to cover any additional costs, but also would have majority rights to build affordable housing and create a business district. And just like when a car is declared as “totaled” — driver gets a check, insurance company gets the wrecked car — the developer has the option of selling or repurposing the remains of Aloha Stadium. All that is needed is for the state and the Aloha Halawa District Partners (AHDP) to reach agreement on a contract. The negotiating window is about nine months from July, when AHDP is officially named as the potential developer.

As the lone contender, AHDP would appear to have leverage in negotiations. But officials from the state and University of Hawaii, whose football team was the primary tenant until Aloha Stadium was self-condemned for spectator-attended events in December 2020, are optimistic a deal will be cemented and a new stadium will be ready ahead of the 2028 season opener.

But not all marriages are without objections, even after years of planning. During the recent legislative session, a group of State representatives lobbied to re-direct the Aloha Stadium money to other projects, such as Lahaina relief efforts. The state senate squashed that motion.

But history tells us that protesters have an unlimited supply of kill-joy energy. It is why it took three decades to complete the H-3. Or months of protests when the Kailua site of a Don Quijote was to be converted into a Target.

Critics, as always, will point to the whimper-for-a-buck cost of building Skyline. The difference is Skyline did not replace an existing rail system. The Halawa project is replacing a facility that served as a venue for sporting events, concerts and graduations for nearly a half century.

Critics, no doubt, will note there is no urgency to build a venue larger than UH’s on-campus, 15,300-seat Ching Complex, where the Warriors currently play their home games. The NCAA no longer requires a football team to average at least 15,000 in attendance to maintain Football Bowl Subdivision (previously known as Division I) status.

The thing is, Ching is not adequate for Division I football, particularly for elderly fans. There’s tight leg room. There’s excuse-me, excuse-me sidling to maneuver to the walkway. Half of the visitors’ “locker room” is a cordoned-off concourse at neighboring Les Murakami Stadium. Stadium concerts? Not a chance.

The hope is the sides will reach agreement, the critics will find other projects to criticize, and a new Halawa stadium will ready by the summer of 2028.

Another hope is the UH baseball team will have newly installed turf at Les Murakami Stadium ahead of the 2025 season. The current DomoTurf, which was installed in 2008, has outlived the manufacturer. The money has been allocated for a new turf. A project manager has been assigned. All that awaits is a decision on where the “H” logo and other designs will be placed.

But like the Halawa project, the only obstacle is if someone were to raise a hand if asked: Any objections?

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