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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Football team's success boosted UH revenues

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawai'i's 2007 football season was a year to remember not only for the record books but the Warriors' bank book, too.

In their march to the Sugar Bowl and a school-record 12-1 finish, the Warriors hit highs for ticket revenue, according to figures from the athletic department.

UH took in $930,106 more in ticket revenue in 2007 than it did the previous year despite playing one fewer home game.

In 2006, when UH finished 11-3, ticket sales (season and individual) totaled $4.9 million for eight home dates. In 2007, sales reached $5.8 million for seven games.

"That's just awesome," said Carl Clapp, UH interim athletic director.

Football ticket sales annually make up 17 percent to 22 percent of revenue for the UH athletic department, which operates 19 teams on a $26.6 million budget.

Single-game ticket sales in 2007 ($2,822,949) soared to nearly double those of just two seasons earlier ($1,426,544) for the same number of dates, while season ticket revenue also was up substantially.

Buoyed by back-to-back sellouts against Boise State and Washington to close the regular season, average per-game attendance hit a 23-year high (41,325) in 2007. Not since 1984, when UH averaged 42,915, had football drawn as many.

"I'm excited to see that we're going in the right direction and, of course, we have initiatives to continue to promote season ticket opportunities," Clapp said.

"I thought the support was outstanding," said new head coach Greg McMackin. "The crowds, I thought, were especially good at the end of the year, and it would be great to start out (in 2008) like we ended last season."

UH sold 22,975 season tickets last year and has set a goal of topping 30,000 for the upcoming season, according to John McNamara, UH associate athletic director.

As of yesterday, the athletic department said it had received new deposits from 787 fans requesting more than 2,300 season tickets for 2008.

"Our crowd really inspires and motivates our football team," McMackin said. "I really think they were responsible for some of our wins."

"It would be an overly broad statement to say (the 2007 numbers) are sustainable, but on the other hand, we're gonna keep working each and every year to do the best possible job we can with season tickets," Clapp said.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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