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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 22, 2005

UH seeks help to make bids on tourneys

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawai'i would like to partner with the Hawai'i Tourism Authority to bring a Western Athletic Conference volleyball or basketball tournament to the Stan Sheriff Center, athletic director Herman Frazier said.

The conference selects tournament sites based on competitive bidding and in more than a quarter century of WAC membership — nine years in women's sports — UH has yet to host either event.

"Tom (Sadler, associate athletic director) and I have talked to the HTA about some stuff like that," Frazier said. "I think, in the future, we need to look at (women's) volleyball and men's basketball. But, I think, we need to have other entities like HTA involved with it. Then, I think, we can pull it off."

UH tried once before, in the 1990s, to land the basketball tournament with outside support, but came up short.

Michael Story, sports events manager for the HTA, said, "I know there's been some talk around (a WAC event)" but nothing substantive has taken place.

In October, the WAC will award the rights to its 2007 and '08 basketball tournament and '07 volleyball tournament, commissioner Karl Benson said.

The 2006 basketball tournament is scheduled for Reno and the '05 and '06 volleyball tournaments will also be there. A two-year commitment is required for the basketball tournament.

Benson said the basketball package, involving men's and women's teams, is steep with the host site required to come up with a minimum $250,000 in cash plus pay all team travel, lodging, meals and game-related expenses, a bottom line of approximately $800,000 this year in Reno.

Benson said volleyball is about a third of the cost with no minimum requirements and selection is based upon, "the best business deal vs. the best tournament site, however, (the) best business deal more than likely would carry the day."

Story said the HTA would be willing to consider a WAC event. "Absolutely, I don't think you can discount anything."

The HTA accepts proposals and each fall announces, based upon funds allocated to it by the Legislature, what events it will help underwrite.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8044.