The University of Hawaii turned its first postseason men’s basketball appearance in seven years into a $72,097 profit.
The Rainbow Warriors drew a combined 10,265 fans to their two CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament appearances at the Stan Sheriff Center, according to figures provided by the school yesterday.
“I thought it was a pretty good bet that our fans would turn out to support the team — and it was,” said Jim Donovan, UH athletic director.
UH is attempting to finish the current fiscal year, which concludes June 30, in the black for only the second time in a decade.
Ticket sales alone, UH said, amounted to more than $170,000, easily covering the approximately $125,000 in expenses incurred hosting the two games and underwriting travel for Portland and the University of San Francisco.
Saturday night’s turnstile crowd of 6,124 that turned out to see UH’s second-round loss to USF was one of the largest for either the 24-team CIT or the 16-team College Basketball Invitational so far this season. Ex-UH coach Riley Wallace, chair of the CIT selection committee said, “Right now Hawaii is probably leading (the CIT) in average attendance at over 5,000 per game.” Wallace said, “Our owner, Joe Dwyer, said Hawaii was a pleasure to work with and they did everything to help the team.”
Boise State lost money on its first-round CBI game with a crowd of “fewer than 2,700,” the Idaho Statesman newspaper reported.
Donovan said he felt it was important for UH to host the CIT games.
“We wanted to keep the players home for academic reasons,” Donovan said. “Plus we wanted to give our seniors, who had never played in a postseason event, an encore and we wanted to thank our fans for their support in hanging in there with the team.”