Spectators will not be permitted to attend the University of Hawaii season-opening home sporting events because of the surge in COVID-19 cases, school officials announced today.
City and County of Honolulu officials notified UH of the restrictions, citing the positive cases and “the resulting overwhelmed hospital capacity.”
The Rainbow Wahine volleyball team is set to open the season Aug. 27 against Fairfield in the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic at Simplifi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.
The UH football team opens on the road against UCLA on Aug. 28, but will play its home opener against Portland State at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex on Sept. 4. Ching field was retrofitted to accommodate 9,000 spectators.
The soccer team’s first match is Aug. 27 against North Texas at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
UH was told the restrictions are for the season openers. The decision to host fans will be evaluated in the coming weeks, according to UH officials.
UH officials said a refund policy will be announced.
“We are disappointed because we were looking forward to playing in front of our fans again,” UH Athletic Director David Matlin said. “However, we understand the decision was made in the best interest of public safety and can only hope the restrictions will be lifted when the time is right.”
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, who admitted to being “a lifelong supporter of UH atheltics and its football program especially,” issued a statement following the announcement.
“So it is with great disappointment and regret to decide not to allow spectators in the stands to start the upcoming fall season for all sports,” Blangiardi said in a statement. “However, it is a fluid situation and we will continue to evaluate based on current conditions and impacts in the health care community. All is not lost for the fall sports season, but we are urging people to get vaccinated now.”
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