Travel Costs Soaring for UH Athletics
By Fred Guzman
Anyone who has researched or booked flights recently knows that airfares have soared because of rising fuel costs.
Because it is the nation’s most remote college Division-I outpost, Hawaii is particularly hard-hit. Even with a mainland stay between football road outings, UH expects to travel more than 30,000 miles at a cost of $502,000 this season for its six away games.
The mileage is slightly more than the NFL’s most-traveled team, the San Francisco 49ers, will rack up this season in eight road games, according to the Star-Advertiser.
The university’s concerns aren’t limited to it own travel costs. Effective next fall, UH joins the Mountain West Conference in football only and the Big West in most other sports. As a condition for membership. Hawaii agreed to provide travel subsidies to its new conference partners.
In football, UH will have to pay each visiting Mountain West team $150,000 or $175,000 in travel costs, depending on whether a team is based in the Pacific or Mountain time zone. The figure can be renegotiated annually per an agreed upon formula.
In games involving teams from the Big West, UH will pay visiting teams about $500 per person in the official travel parties. UH will pay for 32 in baseball, 19 in men’s basketball and 21 in women’s hoops.
So, in baseball, for example, UH would have to dish out $16,000. In men’s basketball, $9,500 for a game. In women’s basketball, which draws dismal crowds, it will cost UH $10,500 per visiting team.