UH tickets trickle in
Demand dwarfs new ticket lot
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The University of Hawaii is expected to receive 500 more tickets today from the Allstate Sugar Bowl to help quell the appetite of season ticket holders with sights set on New Orleans.
But the figure does not come close to the 1,500 tickets requested by 352 die-hard fans placed on a waiting list after UH sold out its reduced supply Tuesday.
Disappointed Warriors faithful call the new batch a drop in the bucket -- far short of the 4,000 tickets that the Athletic Department let opponent Georgia have after underestimating demand.
"It was handled poorly from Day One," said season ticket holder David Loui.
While Sugar Bowl tickets remain available on the Internet at inflated prices, the original tickets assigned to UH had the advantage of being in the Warriors' cheering zone.
UH is expected to hear from the Sugar Bowl early next week whether additional tickets will become available. The Sugar Bowl will review the ticket issue over the weekend, said John McNamara, associate athletic director for external affairs.
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The University of Hawaii is expected to receive 500 additional tickets today from the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
But the figure does not come close to the 1,500 tickets requested by season ticket holders placed on a waiting list after UH's ticket allotment sold out Tuesday.
UH is expected to hear from the Sugar Bowl early next week whether additional tickets will be made available. "We've communicated to them very clearly that there is an additional need," said John McNamara, associate athletic director for external affairs.
Tickets will be sold to 352 season ticket holders who collectively requested 1,500 tickets. UH capped the waiting list Wednesday.
"We don't want to add any more folks until we know we can accommodate those that are on it," McNamara said.
Due to a limited supply of tickets, each season ticket holder can request up to six tickets. There was no ticket limit for those who were able to purchase tickets from Sunday through Tuesday.
Beginning today, the UH ticket office was to contact each season ticket holder on the list based on the order their request was received. Ticket office officials request that season ticket holders on the waiting list refrain from calling the office regarding their status.
Duane Lewis, spokesman for the Sugar Bowl, said the additional seats are located in the lower level section of the Louisiana Superdome. However, it is not known which side the seats are on. He added that they are "continuing to work on getting more tickets for the UH fan base."
The extra tickets were obtained through various sources, Lewis said in a phone interview from Louisiana, but would not elaborate. McNamara said the extra tickets were not made available by the University of Georgia.
About 4,000 tickets shifted to Georgia after UH agreed to accept 13,500 of the 17,500 tickets allotted to each Bowl Championship Series team. Athletic Director Herman Frazier had said that they went with that amount because they estimated sales at between 12,000 to 13,000.
UH sold out of 8,500 tickets Tuesday. About 5,000 tickets were reserved for the team, university use, travel packages and corporate sponsors.
Karl Benson, commissioner for the Western Athletic Conference, said there was a need for UH to make an early decision on the ticket allotment before tickets went on sale Sunday. "There was a deadline," Benson said.
McNamara said some season ticket holders decided to return their tickets to UH. He did not have a figure available.
Season ticket holder David Loui, 51, said: "I think the damage is already done. The 500 tickets is just a drop in the bucket."
"It was handled poorly from Day One," he said.
"I think a lot of people had been forced to go to scalpers. They are not going to wait anymore," Loui added.
UH officials are continuing to evaluate the 3,000 allotted tickets on reserve for team and university use to determine how many can be released. A breakdown of how many were slated for the team and university use was not available, McNamara said. "We're trying to take care of our fans first and our internal group second."
"Right now, all of our attention is focused on finding as many Sugar Bowl tickets to accommodate those season ticket holders who requested them," he added.
UH also contacted brokers for ticket availability. "We're evaluating every possible avenue to find additional tickets," McNamara said.
More travel packages that include a game ticket were offered by Hawaiian Airlines, but only to HawaiianMiles members. Another flight was added yesterday with packages offered between $3,499 and $5,699 per person based on double-occupancy, a $200 increase from the first package Hawaiian Airlines offered to HawaiianMiles members a couple of days ago. The flight departs on Dec. 30 and returns Jan. 3. Those who already have game tickets may purchase the package for less than $125 off the package price. As of 2:45 p.m., only 30 to 40 seats were left on the 250-seat flight, according to a Panda Travel Inc. representative.
Hawaii's cleated to be feted in parades
The city is planning a parade for the Warriors.
"The city will honor the entire Warrior football team with a parade after they return from the Sugar Bowl in January. Details are being worked out, but it will be a 'Parade of Champions,'" said Mayor Mufi Hannemann in a news release.
Several Warrior football players will be grand marshals for the Kapolei City Lights electric light parade tomorrow. Vili the Warrior also will be in the parade.
The event will start at 6 p.m. at the Kapolei Fairgrounds, go down Kamokila Boulevard and turn on Uluohia Street to Kapolei Hale, where the football players will turn on a switch to light up the Kapolei Hale Christmas tree at 7:30 p.m.