UH revenue on the rise
By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer
Coaching changes in women's basketball and men's volleyball have not only led to more victories but also, apparently, have contributed to significant gains in revenue for the University of Hawai'i athletic department.
Meanwhile, men's basketball is running similar to last year and baseball is poised for an uptick, according to figures supplied by UH.
The improved revenue picture "likely has to do with the coaching (changes) and the economy," said Jim Donovan, UH athletic director.
Women's basketball, which suffered through the most severe victory drought in its conference history last season with an 8-23 record, also hit financial bottom with just $20,250 in ticket revenues.
Entering this week, the Rainbow Wahine were 9-13 and had taken in $38,966 with three home games remaining, according to UH. Dana Takahara-Dias took over in June 2009, replacing Jim Bolla.
The men's volleyball team, which was 9-18 last year with ticket revenues of $184,453, is 6-5 with sales of $215,659 and 10 regular season home matches left to be played. Charlie Wade replaced Mike Wilton in May 2009.
Moreover, baseball, which opens its regular season next week, has so far shown a climb in season ticket sales.
"We're seeing some indication that the worst of the economic downturn may be ending," Donovan said. "It is sort of tough to say for sure right now how much it is one (coaching changes) and how much it is the other (the economy), but the two are the most obvious reasons."
UH is forecast to run at approximately a $2 million deficit for the current fiscal year that ends June 30. Women's basketball ran at an estimated $1 million deficit for the previous fiscal year and men's volleyball at a $220,000 shortfall.
Men's basketball has so far taken in $983,220 in ticket revenue and, with three home dates remaining, is on track to meet or surpass the $1,023,808 of last season. Men's basketball turned a nearly $120,000 profit in the last fiscal year.
With a week to go before its Feb. 19 regular season opener against Oregon State, UH baseball has sold 17 more season tickets than last year. The total, as of early yesterday, was said to be 635, the most in nearly a decade.