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Honolulu officials: Fans not allowed at UH football games

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At least for now...

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Colorado State Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The old-fashioned Friday news dump never goes out of style. Friday afternoon, Hawaii Athletics released a statement notifying fans that they’ll be unable to attend events held on-campus, at least for the time being. The decision will be reevaluated in the coming weeks.

City and County of Honolulu officials have notified the University of Hawai’i that fans will not be allowed at UH Mānoa’s season-opening events due to the state’s recent record surge in COVID-19 cases and the resulting overwhelmed hospital capacity.

Season ticket holders will know their options soon when Hawaii releases their ticket refund policy.

This all entirely sucks. The plan was for vaccination to be required for fans/players/staff in order to get through the gates at Clarence T.C. Ching Complex, but this plan wasn’t approved. These gatherings were highly unlikely to be the source of community spread, but the city barred fans regardless.

Honolulu mayor Rick Blangiardi, a former Hawaii football player himself, expressed deep regret while urging people to get vaccinated.

“It is no secret I have been a lifelong supporter of UH Athletics, and its football program especially. So it is with great disappoint and regret to decide not to allow spectators in the stands to start the upcoming fall season for all sports,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said. “However, it is a fluid situation and we will continue to evaluate based on current conditions and impacts in the healthcare community. All is not lost for the fall sports season, but we are urging people to get vaccinated now.”

Late June feels like an eternity ago, when the pandemic had seemingly subsided. With cases rising on Oahu, and across the United States, I encourage people to get the vaccine. It’s our best bet to put all this to rest.

Hopefully Hawaii fans can attend home games after a reversal to this decision by the city in the coming weeks. Needless to say, Hawaii Athletics cannot financially withstand another fall without ticket revenue. Do the right thing, Hawaii peeps.

Hawaii opens their 2021 season next week Saturday against UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

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