- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Maui County is ending its plans to replace grass at War Memorial Stadium with artificial turf because of a $1.5 million price tag.

The county originally planned to spend about $1 million on the entire project, including design work, The Maui News reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/1sIvAmL). But county spokesman Rod Antone said bids that came back in April were much higher than what the county wanted.

Maui County Councilman Don Guzman said the county received a $920,000 grant from the state for the project.

The stadium was built in the 1950s and was the former home of the Hula Bowl, a college football all-star game. Now it hosts the Maui County Fair and other events.

After reviewing the bids, county officials decided it would be more cost-effective to maintain a real grass field, Antone said.

Antone said changing to artificial turf also raised concerns about whether that would hurt the county’s ability to attract high-quality sporting events. The field will now instead be properly maintained, he said.

Guzman, chairman of the county council committee that handles parks requests, said he was caught off-guard by the plan to end the artificial-turf project. He said he would support spending more money on the artificial turf and hopes the parks department makes a request.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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