|Apple Cup Talks End As Schools Unable
To Decide How To Best Allocate Tickets
A "controversial plan to play the Apple Cup at Qwest Field died Friday as officials" at the Univ. of Washington (UW) and Washington State Univ. (WSU) said that "plans on how to best allocate tickets proved to be a deal-breaker," according to Bob Condotta of the SEATTLE TIMES. Initial plans were to "divide tickets evenly each year, giving 31,000 to each school." But UW "wanted more tickets to be able to account for as many of their season-ticket holders as possible." WSU AD Jim Sterk said that "any proposal that would give UW more tickets than WSU would disrupt the 'neutral-site atmosphere.'" Sterk: "Basically I wasn't going to continue to follow down (this) path if that wasn't the case." UW AD Scott Woodward said that he "would be open to proposals to play games at Qwest Field, whether against [WSU] or anyone else," but officials at both schools said that this "particular deal is dead for the foreseeable future." Condotta noted there were "estimates that the Qwest Field game might give each school about $10[M] over the six years" of the proposed deal. Sterk said that WSU is "going to announce its university budget on May 1 that will include budget cuts for athletics," and added that WSU now "will seek alternate ways to raise funds" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/26
MOVING FORWARD: With the Apple Cup not moving to Qwest Field, Sterk said that there "will be even more pressure on the athletic department, which receives 8[%] of its $30[M] budget -- the Pac-10's smallest -- from the university in the form of tuition waivers and benefit support for employees." Sterk: "There are financial challenges. Over the next month and a half we're going to be ... looking at our budget and how we can reduce expenses and increase revenues" (Spokane SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, 4/25). Sterk also said that he "hopes to have WSU continue playing one 'home' game a year at Qwest." WSU has played only nonconference opponents at Qwest Field since '02, but Sterk said that it is "possible that the [team] could bring in a Pac-10 opponent in the future" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/26).