University of Hawaii expects $400K annual loss for football

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii estimates annual losses up to $400,000 while using an expanded practice facility for home football games.

The university projects expenses to play games at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex on the school’s Manoa campus will exceed revenue by $400,000 each year compared with the Aloha Stadium.


Athletic Director David Matlin shared the estimate with the university’s Board of Regents on Thursday.

The figure suggests school athletic operations will have an extra $1.2 million deficit throughout the next three years to carry out what leaders view as the best option to continue the football program on Oahu.

The Aloha Stadium Authority is pursuing the replacement of the 50,000-seat venue in Halawa with a new 35,000-seat stadium.

The state agency informed the university in December that the stadium would not be viable for games this year or available in 2022 or 2023 because of planned demolition to make way for a replacement.

School officials do not think a new stadium will be ready for the 2023 football season.

The university typically receives more than $5.1 million in annual revenue from football games at Aloha Stadium, including $4.7 million from ticket sales and seat premiums, $700,000 from priority parking and additional income from television, radio and corporate sponsorships.

The university announced plans to add more than 6,400 seats to Ching Field to expand capacity to 10,000 seats at an estimated cost of $6 million.

Hawaii athletics historically produce annual financial losses between $2 million and $4 million. But the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a projected $8.3 million loss for the fiscal year ending in June.


The loss is expected to be $4.9 million next year, although not all football program costs are factored into the estimate.

The deficit to have games at Ching Field potentially could be covered by donations, taxpayers, expense cuts and new sources of revenue.

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