Rainbow Warriors Saying 'Aloha' to Football?

Rainbow Warriors Saying 'Aloha' to Football?

University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay recently announced that the school’s football program may come to an end due to a lack of funds.

The school has been attempting to assess its football program, but Jay has been warning that the end just might be near. “There’s a very real possibility of football going away,” he said earlier this week.

With a likely shortfall of between $1.5 and $3 million this year, Jay and the school’s president, David Lassner, are meeting with the university’s board of regents this week to discuss budgets and the future of athletics at the school.

Jay says he feels there are “tough times ahead” for the athletic department.

But at least one reporter is wondering why the money that college football brings in can’t foot the bill for the whole program.

Paul Drewes of KITV Channel 4, Honolulu, wonders where is all the money that the football program brings in with TV, parking, concessions, and other sources?

“If you look only at direct revenue, like ticket sales, which add up to $6.1 million–the team falls woefully short of its expenses. Expenses add up to $9 million,” Drewes said in a recent TV report.

But the TV reporter went on to say, “When you add in indirect revenue though, corporate sponsors, TV revenue, etc., the green and black are not only in the black they are making a lot of green.”

“The state gets all the revenue from parking, sponsorship, and concessions at Aloha Stadium during home games, the UH athletic department gets none of it,” Drewes noted.

Drewes then said that if the college were to get that revenue instead of the state and outside vendors, the program could easily be saved.

Not only that, but the university “could also allow the program to get millions in revenue from sports logo wear that is sold outside of the campus H Zone,” the TV newser reported.

The Rainbow Warriors find themselves in a tough financial position in part because their distance from the mainland means that they must subsidize travel expenses for opposing teams making the trek to Hawaii.  

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com