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StarBulletin.com

UH football attendance down a bit


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POSTED: Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hawaii's on-field performance this football season was mirrored in the Warriors' performance at the gate.

The Warriors struggled through the middle of the season before a strong finish put them in contention for a bowl berth. They ultimately finished one win shy at 6-7.

Likewise, ticket sales lagged into the final two games of the season. The games against Navy and Wisconsin drew the largest crowds of the season, though the final numbers still fell short of projections.

According to preliminary reports, UH made about $4,272,000 in season and individual football ticket sales this season, down from $4,650,508 last year when the Warriors went 7-6 in the regular season.

With a home schedule featuring Fresno State, Boise State, Navy and Wisconsin, the department had projected making $5 million this season. But a six-game losing streak at midseason contributed to a dip in sales for games against Utah State and New Mexico State before rebounding at the end of the season.

“;It's two-fold,”; UH athletic director Jim Donovan said. “;It's a sign of the economy and then our win-loss record.”;

In all, UH distributed 257,074 tickets for its seven home games, an average of 36,725. The tickets issued number fell 25,289 from the 2008 total.

The Warriors' push at the end of the season coincided with ticket sales edging over the 40,000 mark for the Navy and Wisconsin games, which generated about $464,000 combined or roughly 10 percent of the season's earnings.

UH is also anticipating receiving between $100,000 and $165,000 from its share of the Western Athletic Conference's bowl revenue.

Boise State's inclusion in the BCS comes with a payout of $4.5 million to the WAC, with $3 million going the Broncos. The remaining money is used to cover any expenses arising from the three bowl games connected with the WAC — the Hawaii, Humanitarian and New Mexico bowls — before being distributed to the rest of the member schools.

“;Everything helps at this point,”; Donovan said of the payout.

Donovan said UH women's volleyball is projected to finish about $50,000 above projections with men's and women's basketball, men's volleyball and baseball remaining as revenue generating sports.

The UH athletic department ended the last fiscal year with a $2.6 million shortfall, raising the cumulative deficit to around $8 million.