HONOLULU (KHON2) — The University of Hawaii football team is working from home this year.
The Rainbow Warriors are just months away from their first season on campus since the program was founded in 1909. But to make it all happen, UH is turning to the community to help make its home turf at Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex game ready.
“As far as this project we’re in a pretty big fundraising campaign to make this happen,” UH Athletics Director David Matlin said.
The Rainbow Warrior home slate kicks off September 4th when the ‘Bows host Portland State. That only leaves 145 days to get the complex ready.
“There’s no question time is a challenge. Our goal is to get all of the ‘must’ things done by the time of the first game on September 4th and then try to get better every week, and the second year will be better than the first year,” Matlin said.
The cost includes:
- $2.1 million for seating capacity
- $1.1 million for a scoreboard
- $2 million for a press box and electrical work
- $712 thousand for concessions and restrooms
- $150 thousand for changes to the track and field
“We’re working with David Lassner and the University as far as funds that might be able to be used, repair and maintenance funds, or some current funds that are there and we have gotten some gifts,” Matlin said.
UH has not had their request for a tier exemption for fans to return approved and is doubtful that one will come this spring. Matlin is hopefull for the fall.
“I’m optimistic that fans will return and return at a capacity level that said we have to follow all of the guidelines.”
With the future of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District uncertain, the ‘Bows might as well get comfortable at home.
“I think we have to prepare to be ready until the new stadium is complete. Right now the latest I’ve heard is 2024,” Matlin said.
Currently the UH Football program has taken a break from spring practice as 81 members were placed into COVID-19 quarantine after 8 positive tests among the team. Matlin says they’re all doing well, and if protocols are cleared they’ll return to practice this week.