start for new
UH ticket sales

Some 800 new football season
tickets are sold in the first week

There are days when Tom Sadler feels as if he were living at Disneyland.

Today is one of those days. It's the start of the new fiscal year for the University of Hawaii and the new associate athletic director is straddling the FastPass lane between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

New season-ticket sales for UH football reached 800 after the first week. If that same number were sold over the next six weeks, the 5,600 would more than double last year's total when 2,145 new season tickets were purchased.

That would be Fantasyland and Sadler knows it.

"Of course, we can't count on 800 every week, although it would be nice," said Sadler. "But we're feeling really good about where we're at after the first week."

As of yesterday, a total of 23,000 season tickets have been sold for the seven-game home schedule, including the 22,200 in renewals. Last year, approximately 25,000 season tickets were bought for the eight-game home schedule.

UH officials are hoping to surpass last year's total because of the earlier sales dates. Last year, tickets did not go on sale until July 29.

What will make a big difference in the final revenue count is the additional money generated from increased premium seat donations. Last season, the donation was $25-$50; this year, it's $25-$100.

UH athletic director Herman Frazier anticipated between $300,000-$500,000 additional revenue from the combined seat donation for football and volleyball. It will be a welcome influx for a department that finished with a deficit yesterday.

"We still have a few expenditures to come in from things such as coaches out on the road recruiting," said Sadler, "but we know we will finish in the red. How much, we don't know. We should have a final number in two weeks.

"Right now, there's a number of things we're looking at for the 2003-04 budget, including some coaching positions that are part-time that will need to be upgraded. This year, we're closing the books with a challenge. Next year, we're going to be facing things on a more positive note. There's light at the end of the tunnel where we expect to have a balanced budget year after year, build a reserve fund and be able to give back (money) to the university."

The deadline for new season tickets is Aug. 22. Single-game ticket sales begin Aug. 11.


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