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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 14, 2006

UH, ASU won't lose money

 •  Pay-per-view revenue of UH sports rises

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

For one of the few times in the quarter-century that NCAA bowl games have been held in Hawai'i, neither school in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl is expected to lose money on its participation in the Dec. 24 game, according to people involved.

"What we're going to make, I don't really know, but I know we'll definitely be in the black," said John McNamara, associate athletic director at the University of Hawai'i, which will meet Arizona State at Aloha Stadium.

ASU, which said it lost money on its participation in two previous bowl trips here the 1999 and 2000 Aloha Bowls will have its costs covered by a new Pac-10 policy, a conference official said.

Traditionally, dating back to the Aloha Bowl (1982-2000) and O'ahu Bowl (1998-2001) and including the Hawai'i Bowl (2002-present), many schools have looked at their bowl participation here as a loss leader, willing to lose money in exchange for the postseason visibility, validation and reward the games have brought.

When the Pac-10 contracted to send the sixth choice of its bowl-eligible teams to the Hawai'i Bowl for the first time this year, the membership agreed to help underwrite the costs because of the distance involved, said Jim Muldoon, associate commissioner.

Muldoon said the Sun Devils are expected to spend approximately $700,000 on the trip, including transportation, hotels and meals. The Pac-10 representative is contracted to receive a guarantee of approximately $400,000 for its participation, according to Pete Derzis, vice president of ESPN Regional, which owns and operates the Hawai'i Bowl. The balance, Muldoon said, will be covered by the Pac-10.

The Western Athletic Conference provides UH with "a $400,000 lump sum" payment for bowl costs, according to Karl Benson, WAC commissioner. If UH spends less than that, the Warriors keep the balance, Benson said.

The WAC could earn more than the $400,000 depending upon ticket sales. Any additional money would go into the WAC bowl fund from which all schools share. This year, with Boise State appearing in the Fiesta Bowl, a Bowl Championship Series game, WAC schools other than Boise State are estimated to receive between $500,000 and $600,000 each.

At of the close of business yesterday, the Hawai'i Bowl had distributed more than 35,000 tickets, according to Jim Donovan, the game's executive director. The largest turnstile count of the four previous bowls was 38,322 for the 2004 game that saw UH defeat Alabama-Birmingham, 59-40.

UH and ASU said they have each sold their 1,200-ticket allotments.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.