Slowing pace of vaccinations prompts state, UH to consider capacity limits for UH football games

UH Football is less than two months away from their first home game.
UH Football is less than two months away from their first home game.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 11:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While the University of Hawaii is planning for a packed house in the stands for its first football game at the newly renovated Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex, a slowing pace of vaccinations and a rise in Delta varian cases could mean the season opens to a smaller group.

UH football is less than two months away from their first home game.

Under Tier 5 on Oahu, large events are capped at 50% capacity.

To operate at 100% capacity, an event must verify that every fan is vaccinated or have a negative test result.

Most people have assumed the rules would be lifted by the University of Hawaii’s first home game on Sept. 4, but the governor is now suggesting there may still be limits.

“It’s not so much the game time activity which is a concern, it’s the socializing and interaction before and after events that become super spreader events,” said Gov. David Ige in a Star-Advertiser interview Monday.

The governor offered no specifics. And despite spending $8 million on the new stadium, school officials said they would be flexible.

Meanwhile, UH fans look forward to cheering from the stands again.

“In a way I feel jealous seeing people that are going to all these sporting events and I want to be at one soon too,” said Fuchsia Yamashiro.

“If we can allow all these tourists to come in, we can have our people of Hawaii to support our team,” added UH fan Keali’I Torco.

“Fans are just as important to some of the games, and definitely the outcomes of some of the games as well,” said Wayne Coito, founder of Hawaii Sports Fans.

“So, I believe that we can do this safely, and we should, but let’s get vaccinated.”

The state could also be saying aloha to the Hula Bowl, according to Executive Director Rich Miano.

Miano said the college all-star game might move to Florida after January’s game at Aloha Stadium was extremely difficult.

“With Hawaii Safe Travels and the NFL scouts, 50 of them, NFL coaches, 100 college football players coming from different destinations to even arrive in Hawaii and be able to play in this game,” said Miano. “Now for us to be able to not know, the uncertainty, I think kind of killed this game and move it to the mainland.”

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