Gov. David Ige said today there is no change in the no-spectators policy for University of Hawaii sports, including for Saturday’s home football game at the on-campus Clarence T.C. Ching Complex.
“I hope we will be in a better place before the end of the football season,” Ige said in a statement provided to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “However, at this point, this type of activity is simply not safe.”
Ige responded to an email request Monday from parents of UH football players that family and friends of the student-athletes be allowed at the 9,000-seat Ching Complex for Saturday’s game hosting San Jose State. The family members said they would all be vaccinated, wear masks and remain socially distanced.
Hawaii is the only one of 130 major college (FBS) programs not allowing spectators at home games this season. So far, the Sept. 4 home opener against Portland State, five volleyball matches at the SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center and soccer matches at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium were played without fans.
City and County of Honolulu officials, after consultation with the state, including the Department of Health, on Aug. 25 started a 28-day limit on outdoor gatherings of 25 people and 10 people for indoor events, due to spikes in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
“We understand how important University of Hawaiʻi athletics is to our community,” Ige said today. “The pandemic has really challenged our effort to balance our support of UH athletics with the need to protect the health and safety of our community.
“Our hospital ICU units are at maximum capacity. Any significant increase in ICU patients could put our healthcare system over the threshold. I am also an avid Warrior fan, and I hope that we will be in a better place before the end of the football season. However, at this point, this type of activity is simply not safe.”