Quotes about how Notre Dame boosted the Hawaii Bowl financially

About how this Hawaii Bowl could generate more money for Hawaii’s economy than the past two Hawaii Bowls, Hawaii Bowl Executive Director David Matlin said:
“Within the first 24 hours (of announcing the game’s matchup), we had tickets bought from 33 states, two provinces and the District of Columbia. Now we’re over 40 states and that’s a pretty neat thing. I attribute that, obviously, to Notre Dame coming to the game and the excitement.” (HA)

HA Note: “The football game between the University of Hawai’i Warriors and tradition-rich Fighting Irish of Notre Dame should draw more than 44,000 through the Aloha Stadium turnstiles. Of that total, nearly 2,000 will be fans who bought tickets from the Indiana school. The 2007 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl, which featured two Mainland teams, brought in just over $17 million, while the 2006 game between UH and Arizona State raised an estimated $11 million, according to the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

About how Notre Dame brought a large traveling party (300) and has a large number of fans attending the game, Matlin said:
“We know we’re not a BCS bowl-game payout, but we do believe that the ambience of Hawai’i is a big advantage that we have and we can provide a first-class experience for the student-athletes that they can take home and send the message of aloha back.” (HA)

About how many Notre Dame fans couldn’t go to the Hawaii Bowl due to the late notice and high cost of airfare, Jill Walsh of Anthony Travel (the official travel agency for Notre Dame who sent 75 people to the Hawaii Bowl, much less than a normal road game) said:
“This is down considerably. The interest level is there, it’s just the airfare was a problem for a lot of people. And with the holidays, a lot of people don’t want to travel on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. We’re assuming the economy is not helping this year either.” (HA)

About how she has run into a lot of Notre Dame fans since she got to Hawaii on Saturday and she expects a big turnout at the Hawaii Bowl for them, Walsh said:
“There are still a lot of Notre Dame fans over here, so it’s good. They’re still supporting them. They’re from all over the place.” (HA)

HA Note: “Although the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl could generate more than $11 million, it isn’t the largest money-maker for the state. By comparison, the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl contributed about $28 million to the local economy and the 2005 game drew $39 million, according to HTA figures. The Honolulu Marathon continues to be the largest single revenue generator among Hawai’i’s sporting events. The marathon has exceeded $100 million the past three years and although the number of entries was down this year, officials believe the economic impact could reach $100 million again because of the strength of the yen.”

About having their blue skies and beaches shown across the country while winter is in full force on the mainland, HTA sports manager Mike Story said:
“The day before Christmas being telecast back to the Mainland, which especially this year is in freezer mode? It’s a great way to promote the Islands. I think a lot of people are going to watch it. They’re going to be in their homes because they don’t want to go outside and they’re really going to look forward to the good game and the great weather.” (HA)

About how the ESPN broadcast is like a “three-hour informercial” for Hawaii, Matlin said:
“When someone’s on the East Coast in 5-degree-below snow storms and they’re watching a packed Aloha Stadium at 75 to 80 degrees, there’s definitely an impact.” (HA)

About how there were banners and memorabilia for Notre Dame throughout his grandfather John “Jack” Kelly’s home, Dan Kelly said:
“My grandpa was a huge fan. I kind of grew up having the Fighting Irish thing in my face the whole time. Playing them is a nice way to end my career.” (HA)

HA Note: “Notre Dame’s appearance in today’s Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl is a boost to the 7-year-old postseason game, which had faced the marketing-Grinch possibility of inviting the likes of Western Michigan as UH’s opponent. Notre Dame, in contrast, is one of the most celebrated football programs in NCAA history.”

About how Notre Dame has generated huge media attention and ticket sales for the Hawaii Bowl, Matlin said:
“Because of Notre Dame, the national attention Hawai’i has gotten through the media has been incredible. Case in point: In the first 24 hours after we announced that Notre Dame would be invited, we received Internet ticket orders from 33 different states, two provinces and the District of Columbia. That sends a pretty strong message why this is a great thing for Hawai’i as a world-class tourist destination.” (HA)

HA Note: “When John Kelly’s widow learned of the Notre Dame’s participation, she decided to buy a ticket for Patrick Kelly — her son and Dan Kelly’s father — to attend the game. Patrick Kelly said he convinced his mother, a die-hard Fighting Irish fan, to root for Hawai’i.”

About how their season ended in 2001 after the 72-45 win over BYU, with no bowl game to follow, Rolo said:
“I don’t think any bowl game would have outdone the BYU game. But I think the experience — the hotel, the different thing you do during a bowl week as a team — is something I would have really enjoyed with those guys.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “The 2001 season marked the first year since 1982 that the state didn’t host a bowl game. Rolovich, now the Warriors’ quarterbacks coach, figures it was probably coincidence that the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl arose a year after the 9-3 Warriors were left without a postseason appearance.”

About how it was not a coincidence that the Hawaii Bowl was created a year after Rolo’s 9-3 Warriors had no bowl to go to, Matlin said:
“I would say that was a big reason.” (HSB)

About how BSU chose the Hawaii Bowl last year and Notre Dame chose it this year, Matlin said:
“I think that’s a strong statement when people choose to come here. I think we’ve matured. This is our seventh year and I think we’ve come a long way. We’re not a BCS game and we know that, but the experiences … I really believe are second to none.” (HSB)

About how their contract with the Pac-10 expires after next year, Matlin said:
“We’re thrilled with the Pac-10 right now, it’s a good partnership and we think it makes sense. That said, the college football landscape is ever-changing, so to really make a call like that right now is hard to do. But there’s no question we are very happy with the Pac-10 affiliation.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Rolovich is one of three members of the 2001 Hawaii team now on the Warriors coaching staff. While offensive line coach Brian Smith and Craig Stutzmann played in the 1999 Oahu Bowl, Rolovich is savoring his first bowl week and is enjoying watching the current Warriors take in the opportunity he never had.”

Proud to be a part of this year’s Hawaii Bowl, Rolo said:
“I’m very proud to be part of it. It’s been an interesting year and I think this is a very nice gift for the players and how hard they worked and the things they worked through in many adverse situations. They’re going to know this is a great experience now, because it’s been such an enjoyable bowl for everyone. But years down the line they’re going to look back and a lot of good friendships are going to be solidified.” (HSB)

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