The University of Hawaii sold nearly a third of the Aloha Stadium parking passes it put up for its inaugural online reverse auction yesterday, realizing more than $225,000 in donations.
Of the 1,825 stalls available, nearly 600 were sold to eligible season ticket holders by late yesterday.
More than 400 were sold in the first hour and a half after the auction kicked off at 8 a.m. The process was held up for about 20 minutes by what officials said was a "glitch" in the system.
Most of those sold were in the much-coveted inner circle, where nearly half of the 800 stalls were snapped up at $400 each. Less active were those in the Koa lot at $350 and Kamehameha Highway lot at $300.
The online auction will continue with a $50 drop in price each day through Friday or until all passes are sold, UH said.
"I knew we wouldn’t sell out the first day, but honestly I had no idea how we would do," said Jim Donovan, UH athletic director. "I just knew that at $150 (each) last year they were underpriced because we had 200 more requests than we could fill."
Said Vince Baldemor, Koa Anuenue president: "From our perspective, we were pleasantly surprised by all of the activity on the website and appreciate our season-ticket holders’ commitment to the new program and patience this morning."
Complaints about a process that involved hand-sorting checks and credit card numbers and took until August to complete prompted changes this year, Donovan said. "We wanted transparency and I think we achieved that."
Some season-ticket holders balked at the idea of bidding for the passes this time. King Wong, a long-time season-ticket holder, said he and a friend who carpool to UH games will "figure something else out" rather than participate in the on-going auction.
Wong said, "What’s the purpose of being a donor if you can’t at least get good parking."
UH hoped to eventually realize up to $600,000 from the sale. The athletic department has been operating at a $2 million deficit.
The stadium has approximately 8,000 stalls, of which UH has the rights to about 2,900 for distribution to members of its ‘Ahahui Koa Anuenue booster club and season-ticket holders. The stadium holds 5,000 stalls or game-day sales.
Entry to the auction continues at parking.KoaAnuenue.org or though its Hawaiiathletics.com website.