Season-ticket sales up for football
Hawaii is ahead of its pace of last year in new season-ticket sales for football.
Last year, after Colt Brennan announced he'd return for his senior season, UH started a deposit program that generated 2,143 new sales before the renewal campaign.
So far this year, more than 2,200 tickets have been requested, with 738 individuals putting down deposits of $50 each, associate athletic director John McNamara said.
Season-ticket sales for 2007 totaled 22,975, an increase of 4,760 from the previous year. UH announced a goal of 30,000 for 2008.
"We've got a good start on that," McNamara said.
Renewal letters go out Feb. 26.
Last year's season-ticket sales reversed a four-year downward trend.
This year's non-conference home games are against Weber State (Sept. 6), Washington State (Nov. 29) and Cincinnati (Dec. 6). The home Western Athletic Conference games (dates to be determined) are against Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada and San Jose State.
For ticket information, go to http://hawaiiathletics.com/tickets.html on the Internet or call (808) 944-2697.
The Rights Stuff
Work has started on new TV and radio contracts for UH football. The school is giving current rights-holders KFVE and KKEA 1420-AM first crack at negotiations.
"(KFVE general manager) John Fink has assured us a proposal by the end of the month," McNamara said. "And we already have an extension proposal from 1420. We'll be meeting with them."
If agreements aren't reached for extensions, the contracts go out to bid. That was the case last year for the TV rights, but in the process, KHNL/KFVE more than doubled the previous annual rights fee of $700,000. That held off Oceanic Time Warner's attempt to wrest the contract held by KHNL/KFVE the previous 22 years.
Including pay-per-view money, UH made $2.5 million of its TV contract last year, McNamara said.
Over the three-year course of the radio contract, the school made around $1 million.
Both current contracts end July 31.
Bowl expenses on track
UH expects to be under budget for its Sugar Bowl expenses, interim athletic director Carl Clapp
"Our goal was to keep our expenses under $2 million," Clapp said yesterday. "We have an estimate we're still in that area. I think we did a good job of preparing for this game and knowing what we'd be facing and administering the process."
UH will receive a payout estimated at $4.5 million for appearing in the BCS bowl game. Clapp said he and chancellor Virginia Hinshaw have met regarding how much of the money will go to the athletic department.
"We have reached no conclusions. But I'll tell you the chancellor has been unbelievable in her support in the things we need to be competitive," Clapp said. "So I have no concerns. At some time we'll come up with what's exactly right to spend that money on."
UH won't get the money until June.
Lords of the rings
The football team will receive its WAC championship rings this evening at a private ceremony on campus.
The rings, which feature diamonds and a palm tree design, were designed by coach Greg McMackin.