Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, June 21, 2001


Yoshida reluctantly
moves WAC
game to Friday

The UH athletic director
agrees to Oct. 26 date for
game against FSU

By Dave Reardon

University of Hawaii athletic director Hugh Yoshida knows there is a bright side to a game played in the sunshine of a Friday afternoon.

But when Fresno State and UH take the field at 4 p.m. on Oct. 26, the concept of additional exposure due to national television will likely be lost in the frustration of gridlock and a partly-empty Aloha Stadium.

Yoshida reluctantly agreed yesterday to move the Warriors' home game against the Bulldogs from Saturday night, Oct. 27, to the previous afternoon. The decision was reached during a teleconference with Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson, Yoshida said.

Yoshida said the WAC and ESPN, which will televise the game nationally, have agreed to give UH some additional money to help make up for what he said could be a $250,000 loss due to moving the time of the game.

Yoshida declined to say how much UH would get, but it is unlikely it would be enough to totally make up for the loss.

Fans have already begun to complain, Yoshida said, anticipating what could be a monumental traffic mess. And those would be the lucky ones -- many won't be able to get away from work to attend the game.

"Some of them are already very upset about it. It's obviously very inconvenient," Yoshida said. "The fans are a big part of our support system. We've been put in this situation in the past and it wasn't good. We've said all along that's a bad time slot for us.

"We definitely didn't want it," he added. "Sometimes you have to do things for the welfare of your conference. Was there any other option?"

The consolation is national exposure that can help recruiting and increase the Warriors' following on the mainland.

In recent seasons, traffic problems have plagued UH football season openers and games against marquee opponents -- even on Saturdays. Hopefully, officials will be able to learn from those experiences and use the next four months to create solutions, Yoshida said.

"We'll be working with all the various entities that can assist us in making a smooth, more convenient process of getting to the game," he said.

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