MANOA (KHON2) — Attendance at the University of Hawaii (UH) athletic events is not what it used to be. This is due to ongoing COVID concerns.

Both the men’s volleyball and basketball teams are riding on major successes lately, but there remains a 50% limit on capacity at large indoor events for the City and County of Honolulu, which is currently scheduled to expire on Monday, Jan. 31.

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“Our arena is a lot bigger than a lot of teams in the big west and that’s our hidden secret, I guess,” said Zoar Nedd, a Rainbow Warrior basketball player.

In its eight home games in 2022, the men’s basketball team has averaged 2,975 tickets sold, which is down 48% from pre-pandemic years. Meanwhile, the men’s volleyball team averaged 3,256 tickets sold through four home dates in 2022, which is down 44% from before COVID-19.

“The biggest challenge right now is really getting people out of their homes,” explained UH Athletics Marketing Director Brad Motooka. “People can see just by the number of cars and the role that people are in a mall. There really shouldn’t be reasons for people not to be coming to games.”

UH has provided precautions since welcoming fans back in late 2021, including:

  • Requiring vaccinations or negaive COVID-19 test;
  • Masks;
  • Hand sanitizer at all entrances

No clusters of COVID-19 have been reported at UH Athletics events.

“We’ve been through parts of football, volleyball, basketball, safety protocols in place. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be coming to games. There’s no evidence of community spread at the arena. It’s a big and spacious facility.”

UH Athletics Marketing Director Brad Motooka

Players said it would make a big difference to have more public support, even taking to social media to encourage more attendance.

“Even though 1,000 people has felt like a lot more, I’ve been trying to tell the guys there’s another level that it could get to, and you guys don’t know what it’s like where the Stan is rocking because that’s a real advantage,” Nedd added.

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The next chance for fans to catch the ‘Bows is the women’s and men’s basketball teams tipping on Saturday night, Jan. 29, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.