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Friday, June 20, 2003



[ SOFTBALL ]



Frazier pushes
ticket plan through

Ticket prices for UH sports are set,
with men's basketball increasing the most


Herman Frazier tossed out the first pitch of the U.S. Cup softball game between Greece and the U.S. yesterday.

There was a lot more pressure -- and a lot more riding -- on the delivery the Hawaii athletic director made during yesterday's Board of Regents meeting. Frazier's throw was perfect ... the BOR Committee on Finance and Facilities recommended the proposal be approved for a tiered ticket price range for men's basketball and volleyball, baseball and women's basketball.

Also approved was a ticket price range for women's softball, soccer and water polo, should admission be charged in the next three years.

Two-tiered ticket pricing is already in effect in football and women's volleyball. Just as with that approval last March, some prices will rise while others will be lowered; in several sports, UH students will be admitted free.

The largest increase will come in men's basketball, with a $10 increase at tier I for both lower and adult upper level seating.

"When we came for the approval for football and women's volleyball (last March), we told them we'd be back at a later date," said Frazier. "We didn't want any confusion by bringing all the sports in at one time.

"We also added the sports that currently do not have a ticket-admission price in the event that it comes up in the course of the next three years. By coming here now, we don't have to do this with the board every year and now I have the flexibility to work within the numbers approved for the next three years."

Getting the BOR to agree to a three-year plan was a hurdle but not an insurmountable one. At least that was the feeling Frazier and his new associate athletic director Tom Sadler had coming into yesterday's meeting at the Campus Center conference room.

"I don't know if it's a step toward autonomy, but, in this particular category, it is because it gives us the flexibility to structure our prices," said Sadler, who brought a strong background in finance, facilities management and fund-raising to UH after 19 years in athletic administration at Arizona State. "It's a three-year process and we can adjust for the market.

"I think we needed to have some flexibility to structure our ticket prices and our premium prices so we can develop a three-, four-, five-year plan for the department. Obviously, ticket revenue is a big slice of the pie. But we don't want to fund the entire department or fund all the things that we want to do on the backs of our season-ticket holders."

The pricing restructuring continues Frazier's plan to help balance the $17 million budget for UH-Manoa intercollegiate sports and generate future growth for the athletic department, which likely will need to add two sports to comply with Western Athletic Conference membership rules.

Both Frazier and Sadler said they weren't sure how the board would view the requests. But the pair was optimistic coming into the meeting.

"If it's presented in a reasonable manner, with the facts laid out, it's reasonable to expect to get the approval," said Sadler. "It's nice when you have everyone singing off the same hymn sheet.

"It's important that we all understand where the department is headed. This is one piece of the puzzle to get us on the road. I feel good about this from my naive perspective -- I wasn't involved much with the first go-round with football and women's volleyball -- and I'm very proud of Herman. He was well prepared and I think the regents recognized that."

Said Frazier: "You can never be overconfident in this type of situation. I think we're in step with the current administration and the Board of Regents.

"I'm a stickler for the rules. When it comes to protocol, which I've learned on an international basis (as a U.S. Olympic Committee vice president), I know how to attack. Someone said, 'You have a good rapport with the board.' If I do, it's because I do things in the manner they appreciate."

New football season tickets on sale Monday: Next on Frazier's agenda is putting the automated ticketing system in place. The new software from Pacilion will allow UH to sell tickets 24 hours a day via the Internet.

Frazier said he expected to have information on the new system as early as this Monday. That would coincide with the beginning of new football season-ticket sales.

Prices for the seven-game home schedule are: sideline, $135; south end zone, $117; north end zone, adult, $99; and north end zone, seniors and Jr. Bows (students through high school), $77.

A premium seat contribution may apply, depending on seat location. Tickets are available at the Stan Sheriff Center box office or by phone at 944-BOWS (2697).

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