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UH proposal puts a price on naming … just about anything

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    The new lights at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium produce an average of 150 foot-candles

Stan Sheriff Center, Les Murakami Stadium, Clarence T. C. Ching Athletic Complex, Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex … and (your name here) Field?

You, too, might soon be able to put your name or that of a family member — or a company title — on a piece of University of Hawaii athletics in Manoa.

The athletic department, in partnership with the UH Foundation, will ask the school’s Board of Regents on Thursday to let it sell naming rights for a vast inventory of about 500 campus athletic facilities and items therein.

You need not come up with $5 million like the Ching Foundation, either. Just $2 million will buy you a "donor recognition naming opportunity" at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium, while $1 million gets you the field at Murakami Stadium or the track at the Ching Complex. Nostalgic for a piece of ancient history? Klum Gym is yours for $3 million.

All for 10 years "or as long as the building’s name space exists and has not been substantially renovated, whichever is shorter," according to the proposal.

Price for naming rights 

» Klum Gym, $3 million
» Stan Sheriff Center floor, $2 million
» Tennis center, $1 million
» Ching Field track, $1 million
» Volleyball teraflex, $500,000
» Football video tower, $250,000
» Klum Gym lobby, $250,000
» Baseball dugout, $200,000
» Wahine volleyball
locker room, $200,000
» Head coach office, $100,000
» Baseball batting cage, $50,000
» Taping area, $50,000
» Pole vault area, $50,000
» Softball bullpen, $50,000
» Football locker, $5,000

Source: UH

Athletic director Ben Jay said the Sheriff, Murakami, Kahanamoku and Ching names will remain, but donors could have, for example, Big City Diner Diamond at Murakami Stadium, Dave Shoji Court at Stan Sheriff Center or Boyd Gaming Bullpen.

For $250,000 one of three football video towers can be had, while $100,000 secures your name on the head football or men’s basketball coach’s office. It would, however, take considerably more if you want to have a say in who gets to next inhabit that office, of course.

For more modest donations a conference room ($50,000), press box ($50,000-$100,000), umpire’s dressing room ($25,000) or individual locker ($5,000) can be had. No word, yet, on broom closets and hot tubs.

Staring at a $3.5 million — and growing — deficit for the current fiscal year plus spiraling down-the-road operational costs, UH is ready to place price tags on everything that doesn’t move. And a few things that do.

"You’re talking about every one of our athletic facilities," Jay said of the proposal listed on the regents’ agenda. "As we search for more revenue, we have to try and utilize our assets, and naming rights are one way to do that."

The proposal is for 90 percent of the gift to "go to a specific sport program or unit," with 10 percent being deposited into "an athletic maintenance fund."

Some marquee schools have long embraced the practice. At Southern California’s Heritage Hall, plaques honoring donors can be found above the doors of the offices of the head football coach and assistants. USC also endows individual positions on its football team.

The late athletic director Stan Sheriff had sought to do something similar in the 1990s, beginning with the arena that would eventually carry his name. But the idea was tabled by upper campus officials. Back then, Sheriff said, he was told the time wasn’t right.

Now, it is a matter of economic necessity.

Reach Ferd Lewis at or 529-4820.

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