I begin this editorial with the disclaimer that I am anactive member of the Aloha Stadium Authority Board. There is great initialexcitement about re-development possibilities over the next decade for AlohaStadium and the entire stadium footprint. So I find it interesting that thereare some out there who are already grumbling about initial plans to downsizethe seating in a new stadium from 50,000 seats to, perhaps, 35,000 or 40,000seats. I was told of one diehard fan suggesting that this was admitting defeatbefore we start.
Really? The average football attendance at UH games over thepast 10-years has been 28,500. And that includes the undefeated 2007 seasonwhere UH attracted 43,514 fans per game. UH's highest-ever season attendanceaverage was back in 1984, a full 33-years ago, and that number was 45,765. Soyou see, in reality, even back in the good old days, the stands at AlohaStadium have never been filled to the brim on a regular basis… ever. Look atbaseball parks in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, etc.-smaller stadiums being built with a better fan experience in mind to replacelarge, cold, impersonal venues.
There is a psychological boost provided when stands arefuller and crowds sit side by side. Wouldn't it be a nice problem to have apacked Aloha Stadium down the road, where the big question then becomes how tofairly raise ticket prices to help UH meet its needs year after year? Thinkabout it….