Warriors land in New Orleans and get ready to play
» UH to sell remaining tickets to public
» Frazier has a wish list
NEW ORLEANS » On their first day in the Big Easy, the Warriors took it easy.
The University of Hawaii football team -- following an all-night flight from the islands to New Orleans -- rested yesterday, sleeping and getting acclimated to their surroundings.
New Orleans weather should be sweet for the Sugar Bowl.
The National Weather Service forecasts a sunny day with a high near 60 on New Year's Day.
Temperatures will dip to 56 degrees Tuesday night.
There is a chance of rain and thunderstorms on Sunday, but the weather should be clearing by Sunday night. And by Monday, sunny skies are predicted to continue through at least Wednesday.
Today they continue practicing for the biggest game of their lives: the Sugar Bowl against the University of Georgia on New Year's Day.
The Bulldogs held their first practice last night.
UH held its first team meetings last night, after a casual day of rest and exploring the city.
Of course, that meant sampling some of New Orleans' famous cuisine.
"I just tried some for dinner, had some gumbo, and I want to get some jambalaya," All-American left guard Hercules Satele said. "It's very good, very spicy. Last time we were in Louisiana, I had some, but not New Orleans style."
Some players stuck to what they are used to for lunch.
"Me, Colt (Brennan), Davone (Bess) and (John) Estes walked around a little bit," receiver Ryan Grice-Mullins said. "We had a burger. A regular burger and chicken tenders. Very good."
Meanwhile, UH fans have begun to trickle into New Orleans, and others are staying in relatively nearby places like Houston.
Robert Barrett of Waimanalo, his girlfriend, Sandy Melton, and her 10-year-old son, Kai, flew from Honolulu to Houston on Christmas. So did the Mukai family of Niu Valley.
Both families are meeting with relatives and friends in Texas before coming to New Orleans later in the week for the game.
"It was a last-minute decision," Barrett said. "When UH won (against Washington to go 12-0 and earn the Sugar Bowl berth), cost wasn't as important as coming to the game."
Accommodations were not easy to find, Barrett said.
"We looked and canceled and redid it for days before we found something we were comfortable with," he said.
UH to sell remaining tickets to public
The University of Hawaii will sell its remaining Sugar Bowl tickets online through etickethawaii.com and at the school's bowl ticket office in the Marriott New Orleans beginning today.
"Now that we have taken care of ticket requests from our season ticket holders and UH fans in Hawaii, we're going to make the remaining tickets available to mainland fans and members of the general public," Herman Frazier, UH athletic director, said yesterday in a news release.
University officials were unable to provide a firm number or even an estimate on how many Allstate Sugar Bowl tickets were left at the end of the day yesterday.
"The ticket count is fluid, but we'll make as many tickets available as possible," said Walter Watanabe, UH ticket manager.
More than 100 tickets were sold during the two days that tickets were sold exclusively at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office to individuals with a Hawaii driver's license.
Tickets will be available online 8 a.m. today and at the Marriott, on the second floor outside Preservation Hall, beginning at noon.
There is a six-ticket purchase limit. Tickets bought online must be picked up at the Louisiana Superdome will-call window on game day.
Frazier has a wish list
Cash rolls in, but the athletic department remains in the red
The estimated $2 million Sugar Bowl payout is only part of a rosy financial picture for the University of Hawaii-Manoa athletic department, which eked out its first annual operating profit of $7,483 in 2006 after four years of multimillion-dollar deficits.
Television, royalty payments and ticket sales also are up this year because of the success of Colt Brennan and the Warriors football team, university officials said.
But the department is still about $2.3 million in the red from years of financial losses, according to athletic department audits. And UH-Manoa athletic facilities, like many of the classrooms, labs and offices on the upper campus, are in need of millions of more dollars for repairs and maintenance.
UH athletic director Herman Frazier declined to estimate how much television and ticket sales increased over last year, saying he first needs to provide those figures to UH-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw and to the Board of Regents.
Frazier said he also has a wish list of how he wants to spend the additional money the department will receive because of the success of the football team. But he will not reveal it until he meets with Hinshaw after the Sugar Bowl to decide how to spend any profits from the game.
"Football pays the bills (for the athletic department)," Frazier said, saying that the money from the football program will help all UH-Manoa sports.
Frazier did cite the uncompleted renovations to UH football offices as an example of how money might be spent. He said that if the renovations were completed, it would free up office space and conference room space for coaches in other sports.
The success of the football team will also lead to a higher profile for the university as a whole, Frazier said, which will help in recruiting and fundraising.
UH does have figures on licensing revenues from July 1 through last Thursday -- up 75 percent over last year, according to the University of Hawaii Collegiate Licensing Office. The university took in $215,115 in licensing revenues during that period, compared with $122,114 last year, said licensing administrator Debbie Kutara in an e-mail.
UH collects about 8 percent of the wholesale sales of officially licensed products. Based on that, Kutara estimated total retail sales are up by more than $2 million from last year.
Sales at the Rainbowtique stores at the Ward Warehouse and Stan Sheriff Center are up by 50 percent so far over the last fiscal year, said UH-Manoa spokesman Gregg Takayama. Another boost would come next month if the Warriors win the Sugar Bowl.
Last year's total sales were about $1 million, Takayama said. The money from Rainbowtique sales and sales at the bookstore goes into a special fund to operate bookstores at all 10 UH campuses.
The athletic department gets $30,000 a year in merchandise from the arrangement and 10 percent of all online sales of athletic department products -- which amounted to $5,500 last year, Takayama said.
Licensing revenue from UH-Manoa athletic apparel goes to the athletic department and is supposed to be used for scholarships for student athletes, said Carolyn Tanaka, UH associate vice president for external affairs.
But royalties also are shared with the UH-Hilo athletic department, the UH system, UH-West Oahu and the community colleges, she said. That money also is supposed to be used for scholarships, Tanaka said.
The last royalty payments were made in May 2006. At that time the UH-Manoa athletic department received $154,000. The UH system received $52,984, which has not been spent, said UH Vice President for Administration Sam Callejo.
Last year's total sales were about $1 million. The money from Rainbowtique sales and sales at the bookstore goes into a special fund to operate bookstores at all 10 UH campuses. The athletic department gets $30,000 a year in merchandise from the arrangement and 10 percent of all online sales of athletic department products -- which amounted to $5,500 last year.
Licensing revenue from UH-Manoa athletic apparel goes to the athletic department and is supposed to be used for scholarships for student athletes.