Friday, April 24, 2009

QWEST FIELD APPLE CUP DOA

PER wsucougars.com, there is your Apple Cup news...Maybe we can call Oregon? Oregon State perhaps? Maybe another NW school will want to play us in Seattle, but not UW!

Discussions of Apple Cup at Qwest Field End
                                                                           
PULLMAN, Wash. – Regarding the ongoing discussions about the possibility of moving future Apple Cups to Qwest Field, Washington State University Director of Athletics Jim Sterk released the following statement Friday:
 
"President Floyd and I have decided not to pursue further conversations about moving the Apple Cup to Qwest Field," said Sterk.  "I want to reiterate that at no time did we have a finalized agreement. It became evident an understanding on ways to maintain the neutral-site atmosphere in regards to ticket allotment could not be reached; therefore, our student-athletes and Cougar fans would not be best served without this key component. I was not going to continue following a path that was not in the best interest of WSU Athletics, the university and our fans."
 
"What made this possible agreement attractive were the additional number of tickets available to our fans, the financial gain seen by the athletic department, and the tremendous exposure created by playing a game of this magnitude at one of the premier sporting venues in the country. However, the final details could not be ironed out.
 
"We appreciate the relationship we have with First & Goal and will work with them to maintain WSU football's presence at Qwest Field."
 
-- wsucougars.com --
 

20 comments:

thunter said...

Thank God...Sterk may have just saved his job. Good work by everyone who called and wrote to the Athletic Dept. They got the message that this plan was absolutely terrible from the get go.

Chris '04 said...

Well suck-me-sideways I didn't see that coming. Oh well, sounds good to me!

LouisianaCoug said...

This is truly a great day..

But it sounds like the reason it failed was that the UW (Tyee club, etc.) was probably pushing for a 60/40 split ticket allocation to accommodate more season ticket holders. This may have been their doing more than ours?

If that's the case, we can thank our greatest enemy for preserving the most important event in WSU athletics.

kaddy said...

A great day indeed - WSU may now face a stadium remodel that doesn't happen for years, athletic department layoffs, and potential eliminations of team sports.

A great day for WSU!

Anonymous said...

Unoffical offical word was that they would not agree unliss they 50k seats per year leaving 18k for the rest of it.

Sedihawk said...

It was at least a 60-40 split they were asking for, but that is what will be reported (or is reported already by Grippi). It could have been more than that, much more actually. They may never fully tell the story of what happened and how this broke down.

This isn't the end of the world, but WOW do we need money! I say let's dial up Oregon and/or Oregon State, see if they are interested in trying to play us in Qwest. I bet one of those schools would love the idea and would travel a lot of fans to Seattle for the game. We wouldn't get the same guarantees out of 1st and Goal that we would have received from playing UW there, but I bet it would be better than playing home-and-home. They have to explore that.

Sedihawk said...

You are right anonymous. One thing I heard was that the UW was asking for an 80-20 split! Imagine the furor if Sterk said yes to that??

biggie said...

So surprising to hear the poodles got too greedy and crapped in their own nest...

I can't say I was a fan of the fire and brimstone Sterk ratcheted up to by midweek, but regardless of what's true or not, its time for all of us too pony up some cash for the Cougs. The fund-raising efforts need to be much more innovative and coordinated as well. We may all need to step up, but I think many of us were shocked by some of the numbers that came out this week. They could do a better job of getting this information out there without using the threat of moving the Apple Cup.

Anonymous said...

This should be a wake up call for every Cougar "fan" out there. I just pledged $120 for the next year by signing up for a $10 a month pledge. That's around $2.40 a week. Doable even in tough economic times. Those who can afford to donate more feel free.

If you care enough to be on boards such as this one, CougFan.com or even Grippi's SR board you should care enough to at least donate.

There is no excuse.
http://wsufoundation.wsu.edu/giving/enteramount.asp?fund=Athletic%20Foundation

Chris '04 said...

This whole dog-and-pony show makes me wonder if it wasn't an empty threat from the beginning. Obviously, the talks were serious, but to what extent. I'm willing to bet that Sterk either got a rather large check from a single donor or he was able to secure enough small donations from the alumni to put this thing to rest.

WSU91 said...

Happy we aren't playing the AC in Qwest.

I've always wondered if it would be feasible to get an Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, LSU, etc. type school to play us a 2 for 1 in three years, with two at their place, and one in Seattle. A bit like Colorado a few years ago, but bigger than that. I would rather try to get a big time non-conference team into Seattle to play us than a Pac-10 opponent, or a WAC/Mt. West team. I think we need the Pac-10 games in Pullman. The Huskies are able to get big names into Husky Stadium. We should use Qwest to do the same thing.

Jenkins said...

Not like it's my money, but why can't Paul Allen pony up some cash for WSU athletics, either on an ongoing basis or, at minimum, by giving the athletic department a jet that the coaches can use to recruit in order to avoid the hassle of driving to Spokane?

I don't understand why the guy would let the Cougs come anywhere near to being dropped from the Pac-10. The anecdote about the Cougs being so far behind all the other Pac-10 schools was astonishing to me. I knew they were behind the California schools, UW, and Oregon, but I thought they'd be ahead of Oregon State and at least somewhere close to ASU.

Woody said...

At first I was adamantly against the whole Qwest Idea. I sat on it for a day or two and I thawed. I became ambivalent to the whole issue.

I then started thinking about it and I came to a realization:

This was a way better deal for WSU. All the focus was on what WSU was losing with the snow, cold, the travel etc. But no one focused on what UW was losing.

Our home games at Martin Stadium we would have 30k in WSU fans. Apple Cups at UW there would be what 65,000 home UW fans. UW was potentially giving up 30,000 + fans for their home Apple Cup game!
Forget about Home Field advantages for a second. That is alienating A LOT of Alums/Fans.

Too much was made about the fans from EWA would couldn't possibly be asked to come across state for the biggest game of the year.(Forget about the fact that thousands of WSU fans travel across state multiple times a season for football games and DO NOT BITCH ABOUT IT)

Theoretically every season ticket holder Alum and Student at WSU would get the chance and offer to get a Qwest Field Apple Cup ticket (every single one)
The same cannot be said of the UW Alum & Student Season ticket holder. There would have been thousands, yes thousands of puppies who would not even get the chance from there own school to go to the biggest game. Talk about pissing off your base, don't even give them a chance to buy a ticket.

So, I can imagine how UW was saying we need 50k in seat guarantees.

Good for Sterk, not "bowing" down.

Go Cougs!

Woody

Sedihawk said...

We've been in last place for a long time Jenkins. People have been complaining about it for years. But we have reached the critial point, and it's now awfully clear. Either we buck up as a fan base or we don't. And nobody wants to think about what happens if we don't. As one of the anonymous just said, $10 a month, is that too much to ask? Doesn't seem like it.

As far as Paul Allen, they have TRIED to make that happen. But it didn't go anywhere. In fact, they were working on him before any of the renovation stuff was even out there for public consumption. Who knows what he would say today, but he's a guy who's lost nearly half his net worth in the last five years (down to around 10 billion from roughly 20 about 5 years ago). Not that it is our money, and you'd think he could find some loose change and come up with enough money to save our renovation (and our program). But it just didn't happen. We could sure use a sugar-daddy right now!

Matt said...

I'm not sure why there are all these calls that fundraising efforts needs to be "innovative"? The issue is not complex, rather it is very simple: the WSU Athletic Foundation needs serioius cash. If that's not enough to get WSU fans to donate then nothing will.

I'd like to believe that the last couple of weeks will spur thousands of Cougs to start donating to the AF, but if history is any indicator, that's just not going to happen. Having the AC in Spokane didn't generate a huge increase in donations. Neither did moving it back to Pullman. Neither did WSU narrowly avoiding being voted out of the Pac-8 back in the 50s and 60s. Nor did making the Rose Bowl for the first time in 67 years, or finishing in the Top 10 three years in a row.

CEaton said...

How bout dropping men's and women's golf as a way to save some money. Between the two programs they tood TWENTY-SEVEN road trips this year. For a program that will generate neve 1 cent of revenue? The women's team traveled to Miami TWICE this year! Why? to lose to a buch of schools by 56 strokes, thats way better than getting our men's hoops team some charter flights? Seriously Dump that program and the country club babies that benifit from it

Longball said...

Woody hit the nail on the head. This was always a GREAT deal for the Cougs and a terrible one for UW. As a 50/50 ticket split it amounted to nothing more than a charitable handout to us. Good job Sterk for not accepting anything less than 50/50, but it is bad news for us that this fell through. I think its funny that all the non-donor Coug fans think their b-tching and moaning had anything to do with this decision.

Longball said...

I am kinda with Mr. Eaton, but I think we may have the minimum number of varsity sports to be a Pac-10 school. Anyone able to confirm that?

sedihawk said...

Shane, I believe I heard on Friday we are either one or two sports above the minimum, but not 100% sure on that. It might be more. But with all the cuts coming, it isn't hard to imagine a sport biting the dust. 'Tis the season right now! I sure hope we can step up and support like we never have before. I am not buying season tickets this year but I am going to donate for the first time in a non-ticket-buying moment. I can find a few extra bucks for a worhty cause, and this is our moment.

Anonymous said...

A school must field 14 varsity teams to be a Division I school. We are currently at 17.