City and County of Honolulu officials have notified the University of Hawaii that fans will not be allowed to attend UH sporting events to begin the 2021-2022 season as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise across the state.
“We are disappointed because we were looking forward to playing in front of our fans again,” UH-Manoa athletic director David Matlin said in a press release. “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.”
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The decision to host fans for games will be evaluated again in the coming weeks.
The Rainbow Wahine and Rainbow Warriors will compete at the Stan Sheriff Center, Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium and Clarence T.C. Ching Stadium in women’s volleyball, soccer and football to begin the 2021-2022 academic year. Fans who have purchased tickets to upcoming home UH sporting events, whether it be season or single-game tickets, will have forthcoming options such as refunds.
“It is no secret I have been a lifelong supporter of UH athletics, and its football program especially,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said in a statement. “So it is with great disappoint (sic) and regret to decide not to allow spectators in the stands to start the upcoming fall season for all sports. However, it is a fluid situation and we will continue to evaluate based on current conditions and impacts in the healthcare community. All is not lost for the fall sports season, but we are urging people to get vaccinated now.”
The State of Hawaii has seen has seen 8,842 positive COVID-19 cases over the past 14 days, including 845 on Friday. Over the course of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii has seen a total of 54,443 cases, 3,149 hospitalizations and 562 deaths.