HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Mountain West Conference has been moving forward with a rapid return-to-football plan that is scheduled to be reviewed Thursday night by the Mountain West presidents — with the plans to have an eight game season starting in late October according to reporter Pete Thamel.
For the University of Hawaii, the question is if they can participate in the 2020 season at all — while abiding by the City and States health and safety guidelines.
With Oahu’s second stay at home order set to expire on Thursday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued a proclamation for a four-tier reopening model — based on the level of risk associated with that business or activity.
In the order, outdoor sports are not allowed until tier four — a tier Oahu likely won’t be in until at least December — when asked if the 'Bows would get an exemption if play resumed, Mayor Caldwell says that the decision does not fall under his jurisdiction.
“When we met with the Governor, we asked him a couple of meetings ago if schools, both public and private, are a part of the city orders or the states orders?” Caldwell told Hawaii News Now. “We decided to not create confusion, so the state controls that, so things like sports at schools both public and private, is something that would be regulated by the state through their proclamations.”
Another issue for the 'Bows, when opposing teams fly to the islands, under the current State emergency proclamation, they would need to quarantine for 14 days, but Governor David Ige’s pre-travel testing program is set to start on October 15th — just before the proposed season is to start.
If given the green light, the stands of Aloha Stadium will most likely remain vacant.
“Large gatherings are something that we do not allow.” Caldwell said.
During the pandemic, Mayor Caldwell has strongly discouraged any sort of large gatherings, but if the cases go down, a limited number of fans in Aloha Stadium might be a possibility.
“As you’ve seen in many sports, like the football game that was played in Vegas over the weekend, you see the picture and they’re playing with no one in the stands.” Caldwell said. “That may be the first step back to playing, then as the caseload comes down, we can have fans gathering again, but I think that would be an unsafe practice to do that in tier one.”
The Mountain West presidents are set to meet Thursday night to discuss the proposed plan for an abbreviated football season starting on October 24th, with a vote taking place in the near future.