Politics

Championship sets UH Athletics up for sunny skies

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A day after welcoming again the back-to-back nationwide champion University of Hawaii males’s volleyball crew, the state stays abuzz concerning the massive win over Long Beach St.

It’s a triumph that delivered some much-needed hope to the college, which has weathered the harshest pandemic impression of maybe any athletic division. Even as athletics director David Matlin and firm nonetheless cope with the monetary ramifications of that, the solar is beginning to prevail in Manoa.

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“I think the sky is the limit. I think what we’re seeing now is the beginning of the Manoa Miracle,” Matlin stated.

With even former President Barack Obama shouting out the ‘Bows after their win, all the division has been on a roll of late.

“What we really see is you see all of our coaches and student-athletes supporting each other and celebrating this. I mean, obviously, you’re into your sport, but when you see them coming out rejoicing with this team, I think winning begets winning,” Matlin stated.

It wasn’t so way back that the athletic division was caught with canceled seasons, a lagging lack of followers resulting from restrictions, the condemnation of Aloha Stadium, and the soccer crew’s rebellion in opposition to former head coach Todd Graham.

Since then, the nationwide title, the Rainbow Wahine basketball crew received the Big West Conference, baseball and softball have had robust seasons, and the hiring of Timmy Chang as head soccer coach has caused a cultural change — obvious within the 6,000 plus followers who attended the Rainbow Warrior soccer spring sport.

That urge for food for tickets predicts a lot demand for the autumn season, however a need to increase Ching Stadium previous its 9,000-seat capability is on maintain.

“There’s been some challenges with steel, obviously, finances come into it a little bit right now. We have some more information next month, but we’re hoping to get some expansion before the 2023 season,” Matlin stated.

The legislature not too long ago earmarked $350 million within the fiscal yr 2023 price range for the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, which Matlin calls a game-changer.

“When you’re recruiting sayin’ you know, we have the funds for it. Now. It’s just a matter of getting the timeline done. And then you know, that we want to see as a shovel in the ground and then you can point it and it’s going it’s happening,” Matlin stated.

The pandemic took $8 to 10 million in projected income away from the division, which Matlin stated has left athletics with a $6 million greenback deficit.

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“We’re looking to trending in a much better place right now,” Matlin stated. “You can just see from our way our ticket sales are going, donors are going, our sponsorships. Even getting some support from the legislature which is great and very appreciative. I think next year, we’re headed in a very positive financial direction. And we’re just looking forward to having fans to every game and concessions.”



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