MAUI, Hawaii (Oct. 2, 2021) – Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and COVID-19 protocols in the state of Hawaii, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational will relocate to Hawaii’s “Ninth Island” of Las Vegas. The 2021 event will be hosted at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Nov. 22-24, with all programs from the original field participating. Las Vegas is full of Hawaiian food, culture and community, and has been a mainland home to Hawaiians for decades, hence earning its name as the “Ninth Island.”


“Maui is our Tournament home, which is why we are disappointed that the current state COVID-19 restrictions will not allow us to host the Maui Jim Maui Invitational there this year,” said Tom Valdiserri, Executive Vice President of KemperLesnik, the operator of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. “We determined that if we could not travel to Maui, the next best place to go was Las Vegas, Hawaii’s Ninth Island. While we anxiously await our return to the island in 2022, we know that we were able to relocate the event safely and successfully last year in Asheville while maintaining the spirit of Maui, and we expect the same result this year in Las Vegas.”


Monday’s matchups will feature Wisconsin squaring off against Texas A&M, with Houston taking on Butler in the top half of the bracket. In the bottom half of the bracket, Oregon will face Chaminade, and St. Mary’s will go head-to-head against Notre Dame. All 12 games of the Maui Invitational will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, and are also available on the ESPN App.


“We know how important these early season opportunities are for our teams, as they often set the tone for their seasons,” said Coach Dave Odom, Tournament Chairman. “We look forward to bringing that signature ‘Maui Magic’ to the city of Las Vegas until we return to the island next year.”


Health and safety guidelines for all attendees will be mandated by the Tournament and will include proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test prior to games beginning as well as a mask mandate inside the arena.


All previously purchased tickets will be refunded, and fans will have the opportunity to purchase new tickets for the event at Michelob ULTRA Arena. Ticket information for the relocation will be available soon.


For more information, please visit




About the Maui Jim Maui Invitational

In December 1982, then No. 1 ranked Virginia, led by National College Player of the Year Ralph Sampson, played little-known NAIA Chaminade University in Honolulu while on the way back from a trip to Tokyo. The Silverswords stunned Virginia 77-72 in one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history. Two years later, in 1984, Chaminade University hosted the first Maui Jim Maui Invitational and it has proven to be the premier early-season college basketball tournament for 35 years running. Each year, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational attracts the top programs, best-known coaches and most outstanding players to compete in an exciting atmosphere at the Lahaina Civic Center near the beautiful beaches of Maui.


About Maui Jim Sunglasses

Maui Jim sunglasses were born on the beaches of Maui and designed to protect eyes from the harsh rays of the island sun. Today, Maui Jim is recognized for unparalleled “Aloha Spirit” and customer service as well as patented PolarizedPlus2® lens technology, which blocks 100% of UV rays and eliminates glare while enhancing color, definition and depth perception.  Maui Jim sunglasses have earned the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation as an effective UV filter for the eyes and surrounding skin.  For more information, visit or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @OfficialMauiJim.


About KemperLesnik

KemperLesnik is a sports marketing, events and public relations agency. Ranked by Crain’s Chicago Business among Chicago’s top PR agencies, KemperLesnik produces integrated communications programs and manages major national events, including the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, the Asheville Championship, the McDonald’s All American Games, the POWERADE Jam Fest and brand activation for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. KemperLesnik has operated the Maui Jim Maui Invitational since 1990. For more information, visit


About Michelob ULTRA Arena

The Michelob ULTRA Arena is a multi-purpose arena home to World Championship Boxing, premier concerts and special events. With seating for as many as 12,000, the arena, which was recently renovated in 2018, offers excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art lighting and sound. The entertainment venue is home to WNBA team, the Las Vegas Aces, the city’s first professional basketball team. Prominent events have included concerts such as Justin Timberlake, KISS, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Alejandro Fernandez and David Foster & Friends. World championship boxing events have featured fighters including Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins. The Michelob ULTRA Arena also has been home to multiple Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events, USA Basketball and the Latin Billboard Music Awards.


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Media Contact

Shannon Malone, KemperLesnik