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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 25, 2007

UH will take party of 542 to Sugar Bowl

By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Herman Frazier

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University of Hawai'i athletic director Herman Frazier said he expects the school will realize at least $2 million from its Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl appearance after expenses are deducted for a traveling party of 542.

It is estimated UH will get a total of $4.5 million for the Bowl Championship Series game in New Orleans.

"Two million, for sure, is probably a good guess-timate and probably have great aspirations to be much higher," Frazier said during a weekly meeting with the media yesterday.

Frazier was unable to give an exact figure, citing numerous variables in the process.

"We don't even know yet what the actual payout will be because there are so many different things involved," he said. "There's variables on where your conference is ranked at the end of all the polls. There's other aspects in there from sponsorships, everything else that's within the BCS, so that's why no one can give you a finite number."

Boise State received about $4.5 million after it upset Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl last season. After expenses, the school received about $2.7 million, $500,000 of which went to academics, leaving the athletic department with $2.2 million.

Frazier did not say how the money will be dispersed within the UH system, which includes 10 campuses on four islands, or how much the UH athletic department will receive.

Frazier will meet with UH-Manoa chancellor Virginia Hinshaw after the bowl game to decide how to spend what is left of the payout.

The traveling party of 542 includes 113 players, 11 family members and 281 band members, cheerleaders and dancers.

The coaching staff totals 17 and another 17 in administrative staff, which includes compliance, business office, marketing, general counsel and academic support personnel.

Also included are 31 support staff members, which accounts for sports medicine, equipment, ticket office, media relations, security and managers.

Family members of the coaching staff, administrative staff and support staff total 72.

Frazier called the preparation for the Sugar Bowl "a large undertaking," saying it has put a "tremendous workload" on the athletic department.

While the team spent the past three weeks with final exams, practices and meetings, the athletic department has been busy with the logistics of the Warriors' first Mainland bowl game since 1992, including transportation, hotel, meals, per diem and gifts.

UH has chartered three planes to transport its group. The first which will include players, coaches, families and some administrative staff leaves tonight and will arrive in New Orleans tomorrow morning.

The other two charters will transport the band, cheerleaders, dancers, chaperones and administration.

"The second and third charters are pretty much the same people," Frazier said. "There will be two loads because there are too many people in that group. There's at least somewhere between 240 and 250 members of the band."

UH estimated the charters will cost $700,000 to $750,000, but a total budget, according to Frazier, is "still pending."

Among the UH contingent will be at least 12 medical personnel, team security and an attorney.

"You're talking about 400-and-something people representing the institution so you just prepare for anything that could happen," Frazier said.

Associate athletic director Carl Clapp said the school is paying between "$165 to $172" per room, per night while in New Orleans. UH expects between "1,500 and 1,800" total room nights.

Frazier said the procedure puts UH at a disadvantage.

"We don't have any bargaining power," he said. "They tell you where to stay."

The players, who received $338.50 each on Friday as part of their Sugar Bowl per diem, will also get gifts, totaling no more than $500, from the bowl game. They will receive another $338.50 in per diem when they reach New Orleans.

UH announced yesterday that its Sugar Bowl ticket sales will conclude tomorrow. The Stan Sheriff Center box office is closed today, but will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Notes: Turf replacement at Les Murakami Stadium is "nearing its completion," UH said in a release yesterday. "It continues to progress as scheduled," said associate athletic director Carl Clapp. "The infield portion of the turf, that work will be beginning this week." The project is expected to be completed by Jan. 14.

Reach Kalani Takase at ktakase@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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