The University of Hawaii football team is preparing to hit the field on Saturday without a home crowd yet again as Governor David Ige reiterated on Tuesday that no fans will be allowed to attend.
The Rainbow Warriors remain as the only team of the 130 FBS programs not allowing spectators at home games this season.
KHON2 Sports was told that there was hope from UH players and parents of team members that friends and family could be able to attend this weekend’s game against San Jose State at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex but that plea was declined by the Governor.
“We understand how important University of Hawaii athletics is to our community,” Governor Ige said in a statement to KHON2 Sports. “The pandemic has really challenged our effort to balance our support of UH athletics with the need to protect the health and safety of our community.”
City and County of Honolulu officials notified the University of Hawaii on August 20 that fans would not be allowed at UH’s season-opening events due to the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases and the resulting overwhelmed hospital capacity. Prior to that announcement UH had plans in place to allow only vaccinated fans while also enforcing a mandatory mask regulation.
The Rainbow Warriors played their first home game on September 4, with no fans in attendance as UH defeated Portland State, 49-35.
“Our hospital ICU units are at or near maximum capacity. Any significant increase in ICU patients could put our healthcare system over the threshold. I am also an avid Warrior fan, and I hope that we will be in a better place before the end of the football season. However, at this point, this type of activity is simply not safe,” added Governor Ige.
Currently, the City and County of Honolulu is under a 28 day limit on outdoor gatherings of 25 people and 10 people for indoor events which started on August 25. The current regulations do not allow fans at any collegiate or intermediate and high school sporting events. However, youth sports attendance is allowed.
After this weekend, the next home football game for UH will be on October 2 against Fresno State. That game will come after the conclusion of the current limit on social gatherings, however, the regulations will be re-evaluated and could be extended depending on COVID-19 cases at that time.