MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii Athletics program is still operating in the red, according to the Star-Advertiser.
The department reportedly had a deficit of $1.7 million for the 2017 fiscal year, which ended in June, the Star Advertiser reports.
In a push to get the university in the black, the legislature and the university itself gave the athletics department more than $3 million during that time. But an auditor says there are still challenges with fundraising and operating expenses — and they're note expected to go away any time soon.
Over the last few years, UH has seen declining attendance at sporting events, primarily at Rainbow Warrior Football, which has drawn smaller crowds than high school state title games.
The $1.7 million shortfall is actually an improvement from previous years. In 2016, athletics saw a deficit of more than $3 million. In 2015, it was $4.2 million.
UH leaders expected to have a deficit. and they're projecting to run in the red over the next three years because of costs increases.
All students currently pay a $50 athletic fee in addition to regular tuition costs. UH has previously considered raising that fee, which covers free student admission to games, to offset the deficit.