Originally created 04/28/01

Oahu, Aloha bowls go mainland

HONOLULU -- The Oahu and Aloha Bowls are moving to the mainland, unable to draw top college football teams and generate enough money.

The Oahu Bowl will be relocated to Seattle and the Aloha Bowl to San Francisco, Aloha Sports Inc. said Friday. Both games, sponsored by Jeep, are expected to be renamed.

Aloha Sports made the announcement after receiving notification from the NCAA that the two games have been recertified.

The Seattle game will be played Jan. 2 at Safeco Field, and will move the following year to the Seattle Seahawks' new stadium now under construction,.

The San Francisco game will be played Dec. 30 at Pacific Bell Park.

The two postseason games have been played as a Christmas Day doubleheader at Aloha Stadium, although this past year one game was played on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas Day.

Aloha Sports chief executive officer Fritz Rohlfing said the NCAA would not have allowed the games to continue under the present format. The economics of the games meant it was a case of moving them or losing them, he said.

Existing contracts with the networks and sponsors did not produce enough revenue to draw the higher-ranked teams needed to attract local fans on Christmas Day, Rohlfing said.

"Hawaii's bowl games are simply not competitive as presently structured," he said.

In their new locations, both games will generate millions more in revenues, increasing payouts to the teams and conferences and enabling Aloha Sports to attract higher-ranked teams, he said.

Attendance was at an all-time low for both games in December. Last year, the state of Hawaii contributed $100,000 for the two games, but that money wasn't budgeted this year.

In addition, Rohlfing cited problems with NCAA ticket-sales regulations.

NCAA rules require a host site to sell an equal number of tickets at market value that are purchased by the participating teams, he said.

With each of the four teams purchasing 7,500 tickets, a total of 30,000, Aloha Sports was required to sell a matching amount, which is impossible since Aloha Stadium has a 50,000-seat capacity.

The NCAA had notified Aloha Sports that a continued violation of the ticket-sales regulations could result in a financial penalty and lead to decertification of the games, Rohlfing said.

INDIANAPOLIS -- An NCAA panel has recertified 24 bowl games and certified a new one, the New Orleans Bowl.

The champion of the Sun Belt Conference will play a Mountain West Conference opponent in the New Orleans Bowl, scheduled for Dec. 18.

Two of the bowls recertified this week by the NCAA Football Certification Subcommittee will have different sites and names than last year.


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