UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ATHLETICS
Season ticket sales drop
Around 4,000 decide not to renew their packages for UH football
The Hawaii football team looks like it will be better on the field than last year's 5-7 squad, but fewer people might be watching at Aloha Stadium again this fall.
UH's renewal rate for season-ticket sales this year went down from 2005, according to figures provided by the school yesterday.
Around 16,300 of last year's 20,426 season-ticket holders renewed their packages this year. That is 79.8 percent, compared to 81.3 percent last year when 18,449 of the 22,684 from 2004 renewed.
The school's athletic department has reported a financial deficit the past four years, and football ticket sales provide largest single source of revenue.
The number of season-ticket purchases has declined the past three years along with overall per-game attendance. Some of the revenue has been made up in price increases and premium seating charges -- as well as pay-per-view television, which has cut into ticket sales.
UH has promoted the fact that the home schedule is eight games this year instead of last year's seven. But this fall's home schedule does not include an out-of-conference opponent with as much appeal as USC (this year's non-league home opponents are UNLV, Eastern Illinois, Purdue and Oregon State), and the Fresno State and Boise State WAC games are on the road.
Actual ticket prices did not go up this year, but some premium seating charges did.
Athletic director Herman Frazier hopes new season-ticket purchases, which begin June 26, will help close the gap.
"We certainly appreciate the fans who continue to support our student-athletes and all of our men's and women's sports by purchasing season tickets for football," Frazier said in a prepared statement yesterday. "We have very high expectations for the 2006 season and I know many of our fans share that optimism. While we always hope for 100 percent in season-ticket renewals, we also realize that each fan's situation is unique and they have their own reasons for renewing or not renewing."
Frazier also noted that football staff and players spoke by phone with season-ticket holders during the renewal period (which ended April 7, earlier than previous years), encouraging them to buy again.
"They received a lot of encouragement and support about the upcoming season," Frazier said. "This really energized them knowing that the fans are excited about this year's team."