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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 7, 2010

UH projects $2M deficit

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Jim Donovan

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The University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team reached ticket revenue projections in its march to the NCAA final four while the football team fell more than $720,000 short in 2009, officials said yesterday.

The Rainbow Wahine, who led the nation in attendance for the 16th consecutive year, averaging 6,423 per game, took in $795,388 in ticket revenue, according to Jim Donovan, UH athletic director.

"They hit their (revenue) projections in spite of the economy," said Donovan.

Donovan said the department is projected to come in at "about a $2 million" deficit in the fiscal year that closes June 30 pending the result of basketball, baseball and men's volleyball revenues.

The football team, which is the biggest bread-winner in the 19-team athletic department, was projected to produce $5 million in ticket revenue in 2009 but managed $4.27 million.

"The final (football) numbers were not as good as we had hoped," Donovan said. He said the Hawai'i economy and the team's 2-6 start, "were both factors" in the shortfall. UH finished 6-7, missing out on a bowl berth for the first time in four seasons.

Football and women's volleyball season ticket sales dropped off. Football slipped from 27,705 in 2008 to 23,940 in 2009 while volleyball shrunk from 3,854 to 3,563.

But while volleyball individual game sales helped pick up some slack by going from 17,089 to 28,152, football went from 49,098 to 49,067.

Coupled with the Rainbow Wahine's 32-3 record and national semifinal finish, Donovan said he "plans to submit (to the Mānoa administration) a request for bonuses for Dave Shoji and the coaching staff."

Donovan declined to disclose the amounts of the bonuses he is seeking.

Reportedly Shoji's contract is worth upward of $175,000 per season.