Stadium should be managed by UH
The Aloha Stadium Authority committee OK's waiving rent fees for UH football games.
SINCE Aloha Stadium was built more than 30 years ago as the home of University of Hawaii football, the Stadium Authority has treated it as a separate entity, although both are branches of the state. The authority now has decided to end the transfer of state funds
that it calls rent. At some point, the stadium's management should be transferred to the university to put an end to further turf nonsense.
The university has been transferring 7.5 percent of the total receipts from its home football games to the Stadium Authority, which amounts to nearly $350,000. It also transfers more than $500,000 to the authority in operating expenses for the home games.
Governor Lingle expresses concern "that the university has been treated like a commercial enterprise, and why so much of the revenue they (UH) are able to generate is given to the stadium." The university, she says, should be given "favorable treatment." High schools and the NFL Pro Bowl are given free use of the stadium.
Other state universities manage their football stadium stadiums, also using them for bowl games or other entertainment, just as Aloha Stadium has been the venue for concerts, the Pro Bowl and college bowls under various names. The only difference is that most university stadiums are on campus. That should not matter.
When Herman Frazier, the UH athletic director, told authority members that the football program turned an $8 million profit last year, authority member Alvin Narimatsu asked, "If football is making $8 million, why are we giving them free rent?"
Kevin Chong Kee, the authority's chairman, responded, "We're not concerned with whether they're making a profit or not. It's about one state agency helping another."
Kee got it nearly right, but Anthony Guerrero, his predecessor, was more on target last year: "We've got one stadium. We've got one college. We've got one football team. We should be one."
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