The University of Hawaii expects to realize a profit of approximately $426,000 from the most far flung road trip in its football history.
Between the Warriors’ Sept. 11 game at Army and Sept. 18 contest at the University of Colorado, with a stopover at Las Vegas in between, the Warriors will travel nearly 11,000 miles in a two-week period.
Associate athletic director Carl Clapp said UH anticipates spending $423,357 in airfare, room, board, transfers and other expenses on the trip.
UH is contracted to receive $350,000 for its West Point appearance and $500,000 for the game in Boulder, Colo.
The guarantee for the game at CU is the third largest for UH behind $650,000 at Florida in 2008 and $600,000 at Alabama in 2006.
UH said it expects a "significant" savings by keeping the Warriors on the mainland between the Army and Colorado games rather than returning home. UH saved approximately $40,000 last year by remaining on the mainland between games with Washington State and UNLV and more than $20,000 in 2008 by not coming home between back-to-back road games at Utah State and New Mexico State.
But this time the decision to remain was "twofold," athletic director Jim Donovan said.
"There will be some airfare savings, but there is also an acclimation factor," Donovan said. "Staying up there will allow them to get their (body) clocks set somewhat."
He said head coach Greg McMackin favored the stopover in Las Vegas because he believes there isn’t much difference in going to altitude (5,430 feet in Boulder) for 24 to 48 hours and less than two weeks.
"Only when you are there two weeks or more did he believe it makes that much of a difference," Donovan said.
Las Vegas’s altitude is listed at 2,028 feet.
Donovan said UH will not charter "over the water" this season or in the near future, but only between selected point-to-point mainland destinations.
"It helps us keep costs down," said Donovan, who added, "We might look at charter over the Pacific until after we’ve begun to pay our deficit down."
UH has had deficits of $2 million or more each of the past two fiscal years and is running a $10 million accumulated net deficit.
He said Boise State was the only UH opponent that chartered into Honolulu last year.
Travel is the athletic department’s third-highest expense after salaries and benefits and scholarships, comprising about 13.5 percent of the roughly $28 million budget. This year’s UH football travel is projected to cost approximately $1.15 million for six games, Clapp said.