The University of Hawaii hopes to save at least $95,000 by remaining on the mainland between its first two football road games rather than returning home, officials said yesterday.
The Warriors open the season with Colorado on Sept. 3 at Aloha Stadium but then play at Washington on Sept. 10 and at Nevada-Las Vegas on Sept. 17.
UH had been wrestling with whether to return home to save two or three classroom days or remain on the continent to save money. In the end, finances dictated the decision. UH will charter from Seattle to Las Vegas the day after the UW game and headquarter in Las Vegas, officials said.
"I don’t want to get into this missing class time is worth so much way of looking at everything, but in light of the fact we already know we are going to have a revenue shortfall because of losing Western Athletic Conference revenues (in 2011-12) we just want to be very, very careful on the expense side," said Jim Donovan, UH athletic director.
"I’m not saying this sets a precedent or means anything past this particular decision, but the one decision makes the most sense for us now, saving us a minimum of $95,000," Donovan said.
The UH athletic department has run at a deficit eight of the past nine years and been instructed by the Board of Regents to run "more like a business."
UH has missed an average of 18.6 days of school each of the past three years, including 20 last year. The Warriors have gone 3-3 in games when they have stayed over on the mainland in that span.
Donovan said a tutor will travel with the team to Seattle and two more will join the Warriors in Las Vegas.
UH associate athletic director Carl Clapp estimated the athletic department will forfeit approximately $775,000 in WAC year-end revenue next year as a result of its departure from the conference. It is WAC policy that exiting teams lose their final year’s share of disbursements.
Even with the mainland stay, UH, which plays six road games, expects to travel more than 30,000 miles this season — slightly more than the mileage of the San Francisco 49ers, who are scheduled to be the most widely traveled NFL team.
Clapp said the football team expects to spend $502,010 in airfare for its 2011 flights, about $23,000 more than it spent to go to identical destinations (Seattle; Las Vegas; Ruston, La.; San Jose, Calif.; Moscow, Idaho; and Reno, Nev.) in 2009.