Estimated 31,000 expected to attend UH season opener against Washington

UH football season opener attendance numbers
UH football season opener attendance numbers

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - [Update 8/29]

The University of Hawaii athletics department said football ticket sales for the season opener against the Washington Huskies reached 31,000. Aloha Stadium holds 50,000.

Kickoff is Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Halawa gates three and four open at 11:30 a.m. Other gates open at 12:30 p.m.

[Original story]

Halawa may be muggy when the University of Hawaii hosts the University of Washington in both teams season opener on August, 30th.

But there is no such thing as a "hot-ticket" these days, not when it comes to UH games. Athletic Director Ben Jay says they are projecting 28,000 to be in attendance on Saturday.

That barely accounts for half the 50,000 seats that look down on Hawaiian Airlines field. It would also mark the lowest attended season opener for UH in 36-years.

Although the Bows' are coming off a 1-11 campaign in 2013, it's still a shockingly low number of tickets distributed so far, especially considering that the Huskies are ranked 25th in the nation and have a sizeable fan-base here in the islands.

That said, even the UW fans who are expected to fly to Oahu seem less than enthused. As of last Friday, Jay says only 2,316 tickets had been sold by Washington to its mainland fan base.

Part of the backlash of could also be focused on the University of Hawaii itself. The school has had a tumultuous few weeks with the messy firing of the schools Chancellor and the realization that its athletic department cannot sustain itself.

Jay came under fire just last week, after suggesting to school officials that the UH football program is not immune to being cut -- a comment that went viral and then received attention from all national major sports outlets.

Despite being in the cross-hairs of fans angst, Jay says the solution to keeping the athletic department financially afloat, begins in the stands.

"I don't care what you think of me.  Go out and support our kids.  Go out and buy a ticket and be out there and yell and be loud.  Our kids have been working hard everyday. They know this team supports and represents, not only the university but the state of Hawaii."

Hawaii and Washington kick off Saturday at 4:30pm H.S.T. It can be seen live on CBS college sports.

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