UH athletics shifting focus to hosting fans in the fall, fan attendance during spring ‘does not look likely’

Sports

Fans who were hoping to catch a glimpse of the University of Hawaii’s athletic teams in person will most likely have to wait until the fall.

In a Monday interview with KHON2’s Sam Spangler, UH athletics director David Matlin says the school is preparing to host fans in the fall with the knowledge that it will not be able to do so in the months ahead that will close out the 2020-2021 academic year.

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The news may come as a disappointment to those who were wishing to attend games on campus this spring, particularly at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center to watch the No. 1 UH men’s volleyball team, whose roster is chock full of upperclassmen that will not return for the 2022 season.

For the time being, Matlin hopes fans remain safe watching from home. When the fall season rolls around, the school aims to welcome fans back in as safe a manner as it can.

“As of right now, we have not gotten approval for any exception to the tier system, so as of right now that does not look likely,” Matlin said.

“We put together protocols and priorities. We put our protocols together and we asked for an exemption and obviously we work with the Department of Health, the Governor’s office and then the people in town to see if that’s a possibility and as of right now, we have not been approved for fans.

“There’s no question it’s disappointing. I mean, the last year has been tough for a lot of people. Athletics is just one component. It’s disappointing and it is a missed opportunity but there’s a lot of challenges out there in our community that are probably even bigger than this. We would love to have fans. We’re preparing for them. Right now it looks like the fall and we want to do it in a healthy and safe manner and do what we can do to engage the community through our TV broadcasts, social media. Our social media team’s been really doing a great job of getting engagement out there. But there’s no question — having fans, there’s no substitute for that. But we are where we are and our goal is to just make the best of it and control what we can control.”

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