The University of Hawaii men’s basketball team attracted its largest following in five years this season, averaging 3,958 a game through the Stan Sheriff Center turnstiles.
The Rainbow Warriors, who open the Western Athletic Conference tournament today in Las Vegas against San Jose State, raised attendance an average of 1,085 a game in head coach Gib Arnold’s first year, according to figures provided by the school.
UH said it distributed an average of 6,537 tickets a game, up an average of 817 a game, on the way to an 18-11 record.
In addition, revenue improved an average of $11,000 a game over 2009-10, according to preliminary unaudited figures.
Not since 2005-06, the penultimate season of Riley Wallace’s 20-year stay as head coach, have the Warriors done as well on either front.
Meanwhile, Rainbow Wahine ticket revenue climbed for the second consecutive season and turnstile attendance was down an average of five fans a game to 713.
The Rainbow Wahine took in $46,509 in ticket sales, up $4,045 over 2009-10 and more than double the $20,250 preceding the arrival of second-year head coach Dana Takahara-Dias.
"It shows we’re going in the right direction in both programs," UH athletic director Jim Donovan said.
The Rainbows drew crowds of 6,400 or more three times this season, the largest being the 6,525 who turned out on Senior Night for a victory over New Mexico State.
It was the largest crowd since 6,958 turned out for Wallace’s final game, March 3, 2007.
Wallace, who is the selection committee chairman for the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), said one reason the event hopes to invite UH is "because those are good fans coming out. They deserve a (postseason) game there."