UH ticket plan hits football fans in wallet
|•||Chart: Proposed UH football premium ticket charges|
The University of Hawai'i wants to significantly increase premiums for "preferred seats" at several sporting events and create a "high-roller" section for football games at a price of $3,500 to $15,000 per seat.
A public hearing on the proposals is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. in the Wong Hospitality Suite of UH's Stan Sheriff Center. Parts of the proposal must still be approved by the Board of Regents.
According to the proposal, season-ticket holders of premium seats at UH football games would be charged $35 to $200 per seat for the 2005 season, with the price depending on the location at Aloha Stadium. The premium charge would be in addition to the face-value price of the season tickets, which is not expected to increase.
"I'm willing to pay it because I'm a die-hard fan," said season-ticket holder Rodney Okai. "But not all the fans are die-hard. Every time they raise the charges, more and more people drop out. What you might see eventually is only the die-hard fans going to the games and that's not going to be a lot."
By the 2008 season, the premium charges for football games would increase to between $60 and $230 per seat. The UH proposal is also seeking to increase premium charges for season-ticket holders in women's volleyball, men's basketball, men's volleyball and baseball.
Last season, premium charges for football games were $30 to $125 per seat.
Maryellen Ing and her family have held four football season tickets since the opening of Aloha Stadium in 1975. She said there will be "a long discussion" about renewing those tickets if the proposal passes.
UH invites written testimony on the proposal to be faxed to 956-4598. For further information: www.hawaiiathletics.com/Koa/ Or call: 956-6500.
Have your say
UH invites written testimony on the proposal to be faxed to 956-4598.
For further information: www.hawaiiathletics.com/Koa/
Or call: 956-6500.
The move to raise prices comes after the athletic department ran million-dollar-plus deficits for three consecutive years and faces rising costs in several areas.
According to the proposal, the high-roller section for football games would be in the loge section (brown seats). A similar plan began at UH men's basketball games this season.
"I think that would be a good idea because it's a chance for UH to make more money from the businesses that would buy those seats," Okai said.
However, a key difference between football and the arena sports is that courtside seating did not displace any current season-ticket holders. Under the new proposal, football season-ticket holders in the loge area of sections G, H, J, M, N, P, GG, HH, JJ, KK, LL, MM, NN and PP would be required to convert to the new plan or face reassignment.
"That's very disappointing," said Derrick Yim, who has held three season tickets in the loge level since 1980. "We've been going to games for years and years, and people sitting around us have been there even longer. I don't think it's fair that they're doing this to people who have been supporting the program for all this time."
The UH notice was published as an ad in yesterday's Advertiser and posted on the UH athletics Web site. It said season-ticket holders in the loge section, "will have the option to renew at the new price listing or have the ability to relocate to the best available unoccupied seats." Yim said he will not renew his season tickets if the proposal passes.
The proposal is asking for a charge of between $3,500 and $15,000 for the high-roller seats in 2005, with an increase to between $5,000 and $20,000 by 2007.
In addition, UH said, "there are no grandfathered rights in favor of any person and the right to upgrade location of your seats will be based upon the date which you join the new program."
It is not immediately known how many season-ticket holders would be affected. Calls seeking information and comment from UH were directed to officials of 'Ahahui Koa Anuenue, the umbrella booster group, which did not respond to messages.
So-called high-roller seats referred to Ali'i, Anuenue and Director sections are common in professional and major college venues. UH began it in November with men's basketball, selling 44 courtside seats at the Stan Sheriff Center where it charged $2,500-a-season for the front-row and $1,000-a-season for second-row seats. Purchasers were required to buy a minimum of two seats.
Last month the Board of Regents approved a proposal to allow the testing of courtside seating for men's volleyball on a single-game basis in preparation for instituting it for women's volleyball in the fall. Volleyball seats in the fall would cost between $1,000 and $2,000.
Following a regents' mandate, the school is attempting to get a $1 million-to-$2 million insurance policy before going ahead with courtside seating.
UH said a survey of schools in the Western Athletic Conference, Pac-10 and Mountain West Conference indicated Hawai'i "is significantly lower than the other schools in relation to their highest membership level."
Koa Anuenue has traditionally financed athletic scholarships at UH, which the school said annually cost $4 million.