HONOLULU (KHON2) — Saturday marks the first game for the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team.
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But the new season will be much different than the past with no audience. Another change is that restaurants and other businesses, which were once able to buy the games in the past and show them on TV screens, won’t be able to this season.
“I was very disappointed when Spectrum said they wouldn’t offer it and the fact that they couldn’t give me a reason,” said Dave and Buster’s General Manager Andrew Shimabukuro.
To gain access to watch the UH football games, people must order it through Spectrum. KHON2 inquired with Spectrum on why the change occurred.
Spectrum said in a statement:
UH games on Spectrum Sports Pay-Per-View will only be available to residential customers in Hawaii, and will not be offered to commercial establishments. This is in accordance to state and county guidelines that discourage large gatherings.
However, businesses say this could hurt them. Dave and Buster’s said UH football games bring in tons of customers.
“If I had to guess, I had 20 to 22 calls asking if we’re going to show the game,” said Shimabukuro. “Our guests, they count on us having the games. I think they really counted on us, especially because now they can’t go to Aloha Stadium and watch them, so next best thing … We’re going to go to our local hangout we’ll grab a drink and go watch the games.”
Murphy’s Bar & Grill owner Don Murphy said that many restaurants already have strict rules in place for social distancing. He said there can also still be a way to show the games while preventing large gatherings.
“Places like us restaurants, the majority of them, they have their social distancing. They’re spread out,” said Murphy. “[We] sell the seats ahead of time and say no, we’re sorry, we’re full. So, you don’t get the big crowd coming in.”
He said purchasing the football game to watch at home could also draw crowds.
“On the flip side it forces people to have a bunch of people at their house, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword,” said Murphy.
Murphy said that he will try to talk with Spectrum next week to see if there is a way to show the games.
In the meantime, those that want to watch the first game will have to purchase it for about $70 on the Spectrum Sports website.
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