Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, May 14, 2001


Tickets -- and interest
-- remain for Maui game

About a quarter of the tickets
for Hawaii's football opener have
been sold, but more are spoken for

By Paul Arnett

KAHULUI >> Taped to the glass counter of the Hula Bowl office located in the Maui Mall is a makeshift map of War Memorial Stadium.

The diagram showing the seats available for the University of Hawaii's season opener with Division I-AA Montana has a lot of X's on it, particularly the sideline sections.

"All those sections are sold out," Hula Bowl executive director Marcia Klompus said. "There are still some low seats available around the (20-yard line) and others at about the 5-yard line, but pretty soon the only seats left will be in the end zone."

Klompus said that about 4,600 tickets were sold, but nearly 3,000 more were spoken for, and as she put it, "As good as sold. People over here buy late. That's how they are."

Her husband, Hula Bowl chief executive officer Lenny Klompus, is helping sell tickets and promote the game on the Valley Isle. He remains confident the game will be sold out by Sept. 8.

"I honestly believe that,'' Lenny Klompus said. "(UH associate athletic director) Jim Donovan doesn't want to count tickets that haven't been bought and paid for. And I respect that. But believe me, the people who want those (3,000) seats are good for it."

Most of them were requested by the University of Montana. Officials at the Big Sky Conference school want a venue before the game that will allow between 2,500 and 5,000 people.

The game is a big deal for the school that lost to Georgia Southern -- coached by former UH offensive coordinator Paul Johnson -- in the Division I-AA national championship game.

Had Hawaii officials known that Iowa State would beg out of this year's scheduled season opener -- Hawkeye officials were unhappy with the proposed payout by UH -- there's no way this game would have been on Maui.

As the season opener at Aloha Stadium, the Montana game would have drawn at least 30,000. Capacity at War Memorial Stadium is 20,000.

UH head coach June Jones came up with the idea of playing on a neighbor island last year. Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana offered to pay UH a guarantee of $200,000 to run the game, but UH officials declined. They wanted complete control.

"We're still very excited about our involvement in this game," Apana said in January, prior to the Hula Bowl. "The people of Maui want to support the university, and we feel like this is a great way to do that. Fans over here love their football, and they want to be a part of the success coach Jones has had since coming here."

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