UPDATE: Hawaii Legislature Kills Bill Seeking to Allow Ads, Logos at New Stadium
February 28, 2024
Honolulu, HI | Image by AussieActive, Unsplash

SB3197, the controversial bill that would have allowed billboards, digital displays, and external branding at the proposed Aloha Stadium Development District and Hawaii Convention Center, was struck down on Tuesday, February 27.

In a public decision making held Tuesday, the Hawaii State Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) deferred SB3197 SD1, effectively killing the bill and ensuring Hawaii’s century-old ban on billboards will remain intact. The bill, which had recently been amended to offer specific exemptions for billboards and outdoor advertising at the stadium and convention center to include digital advertising devices for naming rights, was deferred “due to overwhelming public opposition.”

“Scenic America applauds the people of Hawaii and the logical response by the Hawaii State Legislature to keep Hawaii beautiful and billboard-free,” said Scenic America President Mark Falzone. “We would also like to commend the hard work and persistence of Executive Director Winston Welch and his team at The Outdoor Circle. From the very beginning, they maintained pressure on the legislature at every opportunity. It is truly inspirational to see how a community grassroots effort such as this can help protect one of the world’s most beautiful places.”

In a recent mailing to supporters, Welch was clear to mention Scenic America’s direct intervention and leadership to help put down this dangerous bill:

“Facing one of the greatest threats decades to a dismantling of our strict anti-billboard laws, we were immensely grateful for the immediate and sustained help of our friends at Scenic America. [Policy and Research Director] Tziporah Feldman jumped in with notification of tracking of the bill from the very moment of its initial introduction in our Hawaii Senate, followed by help crafting messages and strategies with [Communications Director] Max Duchaine, to the overall support and leadership of [President] Mark Falzone, we knew Scenic America had our backs and was committed to stopping this egregious bill from passing. It was so gratifying to feel supported from the mainland in our efforts, and we referenced the research and articles produced by Scenic America in our testimony and to communicate with our legislators, and know they were critically important in this bill failing. We know that the challenges will not end, but having a partner and friend in Scenic America and its great staff helped us keep Hawaii billboard-free. We have a great aloha for Scenic America and look forward to deepening our relationship and leveraging our shared experiences and knowledge.”

We will have more on this development in the near future.