The University of Hawaii is hoping that a surge in individual ticket sales will produce a sellout crowd for the football season opener against Southern California, but early projections suggest it will take some doing.
With 25 days remaining, the Warriors have distributed about 30,000 tickets for the Sept. 2 game at 50,000-seat Aloha Stadium, officials said.
The Warriors have not had a sellout in two seasons, dating to the 2007 regular-season finale against Washington and the Trojans are their most attractive opponent this season.
"If you asked me today, I’d say we’d have somewhere in the 40,000s (for the game)," athletic director Jim Donovan said. "But I hope it will be a sellout."
Donovan said, "When we get closer the data may be more accurate, more positive."
UH officials said approximately 18,800 season tickets have been renewed and about 1,250 new season tickets were sold by last week, two weeks into the current campaign. In addition, USC has an allotment of 7,500, which it said it expects to exhaust.
Season-ticket sales are continuing and individual game tickets are scheduled to go on sale Aug. 16.
Donovan said he expects many fans will wait and see how UH’s fall camp progresses before committing to purchasing tickets.
"Traditionally, there has been more of push as (training) camp moves along," Donovan said. "The big unknown is playing on a Thursday. We haven’t done that (at home). On the plus side, we’ve done 4,000-5,000 in walk-up the day or two before a big game when the weather is good."
The game was switched from its original Sept. 4 date to accommodate ESPN, which will show it, and to give the Warriors two extra days before their road trip, which has Sept. 11 (Army) and Sept. 18 (Colorado) games.
UH is counting on the USC game to be a big bread-winner, perhaps reaching a single-game school record of $1.2 million in ticket revenue, for a program that has run $2 million deficits each of the past two years.