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The Evergreen Showdown: WSU vs. Oregon at Qwest?
Written by EC Rules   
Sunday, 30 May 2010 18:37

(Second editorial note: Cougfan dropped a blurb here External link with Moos comments on WSU v. Oregon at Qwest. It pretty much syncs up with what we've been hearing. To add some color, WSU and First and Goal have a solid framework for the game and how it would work. Oregon is quite aware of it and some of the details. They are just waiting for an AD to really start to close on the idea. Also, we noted below that 2011 is the "earliest humanly possible" date and it's still in the mix as a possibility. It was the first time we'd heard him say that Oregon State is a consideration as well. Awesome idea. We are big fans of either scenario but the Beavers would be potentially more compelling year in and year out if the finances could work the same.)


(Editorial note: Thanks to CougCenter for linking this article. One point of clarification. I note "next year" as the possible timing. That's not clear enough. It would NOT be "this year" as in 2010. Earliest humanly possible scenario would be 2011.....that's what I meant by next year. Also, a good note from Nuss highlighting that this is not us "breaking" news for you. It's a very likely scenario we are hearing quite a lot the past few weeks and fun for all of us to discuss.)


Things are beginning to solidify around the Seattle game and it's looking like the Northwest is could get it's own version of the Red River Shootout. It would probably be more appropriate to call it similar to The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. It is the Cougs after all and it's looking like it won't be primary rivals playing each other like you see when Texas vs. Oklahoma meet in Dallas.

How does the idea of WSU versus Oregon annually meeting up in Seattle strike you? Imagine a scenario where half of the Qwest field stands are covered in green while the other half is covered in crimson. Imagine a packed house of 70,000 crazed fans playing a game of verbal seesaw every single play. Imagine bars in Pioneer Square split down the middle going back and forth between the Oregon fight song and the WSU fight song. It could be an absolutely amazing fan experience that only a few lucky schools get to experience. It's far from a done deal but we're comfortable writing about WSU v. Oregon in Seattle as very likely to happen and possibly as soon as next season.

Let's look at why this makes sense:


1) Fan experience- You don't have any clown AD's (read: Scooter Woodward at UW) demanding a disproportionate number of seats. The scenario would split Qwest right down the middle every year. It would be a true neutral environment in a location equidistant from both campuses. You have to figure that it would be a slight advantage to WSU if you assume that most locals attending the game would default to rooting for the Cougars . This will be a very high demand ticket for both schools. In our worst seasons at Qwest we've still sold around 35K seats. This ticket would be closer to the first game we played at Qwest where we brought more than 60K Cougs to the game. Oregon won't have any issues selling their allotment either. This will have stadium appeal for national television as well with a raucous crowd in a sold-out stadium against two programs that don't like each other very much. The recipe is there for a tremendous setting.

2) Money- The Apple Cup proposal would have given WSU and UW more than $1.5 million dollars a school each season. This game won't approach that number but it will be within shouting distance. Think along the lines of $1 million dollars to each school every year. This would immediately become one of WSU's bigger revenue and exposure generators for the athletic department. Last season, the Notre Dame game brought us around that sum and it was pretty close to a body bag game. This would be a true neutral site game in the city where we have 60K alumni living and working. Win/win in terms of money and crowd support for the Cougs.

3) Trickle down to OOC games- There are two other huge benefits for WSU in the scheduling department. It would eliminate the need to schedule an OOC body bag game with no return home game. In other words, we won't need to travel to Tennessee or Michigan with no return guarantee because we need the money. That frees up OOC slots to schedule more winnable games that would take us closer to a bowl game . Moreover, it would free up money to pay for OOC games that we could bring to Pullman. We probably aren't going to convince Georgia to fly to Pullman any time soon but even if we take just $500K of that payout and offer it up as part of a home and home contract you are immediately in the conversation with middle class schools at other BCS conferences. Would you be excited about playing someone like a North Carolina or Kansas State in Pullman and then travelling to Chapel Hill or Manhattan the following year? A bigger opponent like that in Pullman would also be a nice story for local businesses that would probably cry about losing the business an Oregon game in Pullman would bring. More winnable out of conference games with bigger opponents in Pullman? Great scenario for WSU in both regards.

4) First and Goal, Inc.- Cultivating a relationship with Paul Allen is important to WSU. He hasn't been enthusiastic about supporting WSU athletics in the past. The company that runs Qwest field scheduling is a Paul Allen company. It certainly can't hurt to have Bill Moos partnered with a Paul Allen company to bring him some business and an extra date where Qwest is filled to the rafters with people buying beers and hot dogs. It's not going to turn on the Paul Allen cash machine for WSU but it's a good opportunity to bring the two parties together. Wouldn't it be nice to see Bill Moos and Paul Allen in a Qwest Field suite watching the game together with other WSU donors?

I've been a big fan of the idea for a long time but I've always preferred to bring Oregon State to Qwest on an annual basis. I'm fine with Oregon. It probably brings us more cash and it eliminates the need to travel to Eugene for a game every other year. It brings cash to school and provides us a presence on the west side where a lot of the alumni base and cash resides. Amping up the opponent here also makes it an immediate national television candidate for ESPN and ABC. I can only imagine what a night game at Qwest televised nationally on ESPN would do for excitement in the Northwest and for our fan base. We should all root for this to happen as quickly as possible.

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Comments (32)
Here is why it doesn't make sense
1 Tuesday, 01 June 2010 07:50
1) Autzen Stadium 2) Oregon doesn't need money.
Everyone needs money.
2 Tuesday, 01 June 2010 08:37
Here's why it DOES make sense
3 Tuesday, 01 June 2010 09:04
1) Bigger recruiting exposure in Washington's front yard 2) Better likelihood of national exposure during vs. an opponent who doesn't usually get national exposure 3) Everyone needs money
This is real money for both schools
4 Tuesday, 01 June 2010 09:52
EC Rules
A one million dollar payout would equate to playing @ Notre Dame for just about any program. Tough for even a school like Oregon to walk away from that sort of cash. Especially when you could truly consider it a neutral site game in a recruiting hotbed for both schools. On the political side of you think Oregon would enjoy taking over the Huskies backyard for a weekend during football season? Tilting and Nuss basically hit the nail on the head on why Oregon would look really hard at this.
Drinking at Qwest?
5 Tuesday, 01 June 2010 10:17
In reason 4 of the article you say: "Qwest is filled to the rafters with people buying beers and hot dogs." Do you think they would serve alcohol at this event? In the past, I thought that beer wasn't served at the Qwest field games!
Drinking at Qwest
6 Tuesday, 01 June 2010 13:43
EC Rules
I have no idea if they'd change the booze policies. I would doubt it. Guess what though....I've done a suite at Qwest for the Coug game and they are allowed to serve booze there. I shudder to think about how it would be in the stands though if beer was being sold.
7 Wednesday, 02 June 2010 10:09
No way
8 Monday, 21 June 2010 12:32
No way that's happening. Oregon might agree to every other year, but not every year. No way Oregon gives up Autzen just to play in Seattle every year. The only team that senario benefits is WSU. Every other year, Oregon has an automatic home field advantage at one of the most intimidating environments in college football. Oregon's going to give that up? Somebody's smoking something in Pullman.
9 Monday, 21 June 2010 12:41
how about the ducks go up to qwest every other year to play your home game. We'll keep ours at autzen. Qwest is awesome, but i wouldn't trade it for the autzen experience at home.
Oregon owns Seattle
10 Monday, 21 June 2010 12:53
If Oregon plays both WSU and UW in Seattle, just elect the Duck as the mayor of Seattle. Oregon rolls either team every time, so play wherever you want Cougs, we're ready to throttle you again. But no way is Oregon giving up it's game in Autzen. A home game versus either UW or WSU is a guaranteed party. Invite all your friends, it's time to run up the score and chuckle!
do it
11 Monday, 21 June 2010 14:09
I love it. Play at quest. I live in seattle and tire of making the 5 hour drive 6 times during football seasons. Home game for me!
fill it?
12 Monday, 21 June 2010 14:19
94 Duck
as fun as this sounds every other year, I have a tough time believing anyone other than Duck fans to watch the annual throttling of the cougs at Qwest in Seattle. No one the Coug roster has been within 40 of the U of O and as much as I would like to see them competitive, Wulff just does not have the talent yet nor is it anywhere on the horizon. Seeing Qwest half full of Duck fans and a few Huskies fans to root for anyone just does not sound all that cool to many I presume, nor would it be healthy for the overall conference... other than lining pockets I guess which more of the Pac-10 soul seems to disappear every day.
13 Monday, 21 June 2010 14:34
Just think, Oregon could have more wins at Qwest field in 2011 that UW....that's awesome.
Ah yes....
14 Monday, 21 June 2010 14:36
And here come the Ducky fans. Please don't start turning into annoying Doggie-type fans. You have had a nice little run and will be tough again. But lines like "annual throttling" are UW-like and should be beneath you. As for Qwest, of course Duckville won't move the game unless it beats going to Autzen. But they are looking at every year since Autzen would only be every other year. Amortized over a two year period and it makes sense. This is closer to happening then not though. 94 Duck, your line on the Pac-10 soul has merit in my mind. I LOVE the college atmosphere and Autzen is a crazy place to play. It is that intangible that makes college football so great. However, when schools are cutting staff and entire programs, all avenues are looked at and this would be a straight money play for both schools. I nice thing would be taking over Seattle once a year with Coug-Duck fans which would REALLY irate the Doggies. That is very, very enticing.
15 Monday, 21 June 2010 15:28
Sorry, this idea makes no sense for the Ducks. When you add up all the revenue produced by a game at Autzen...ticket revenue, parking revenue, concessions, advertising, etc., it comes out to $4-5 million gross per event. UO pays out a guarantee of $250-500k for the visiting team, nothing for facilities rentals, and then after deducting operating expenses, nets about $3 million per game. This figure doesn't even include DAF contributions. So a guarantee of $1m per year would be loss of income for the Ducks. A plausible idea is for the Cougs to stage their "event" at Quest every year vs. Oregon or OSU, whichever team is traveling to WSU that year. Allocate some number of tickets to the visiting school (30k-40k when the Ducks visit, 5k-10k when you entertain Bevur Nashun) to help the Cougs fill the stadium and create atmosphere. The rest of the activities, beer drinking and fight song competitions in pubs, etc. will certainly occur spontaneously.
Moos has lost his mind
16 Monday, 21 June 2010 15:38
I see the years of retirement have not only left Moos out of touch, but senile as well. Why would any Duck, sane or sober, trade Autzen Stadium for Seattle? Not gonna happen.
Anybody care to lay some $ down?
17 Monday, 21 June 2010 15:43
Not sure if I can dredge up the cash, but - really - there is no way UO is going to stray from Autzen. WSU hard up. UO not.GMBr
18 Monday, 21 June 2010 16:36
But like said above...Oregon won't give up their Autzen game. If the Ducks played WSU in Seattle every other year, it would make it a GREAT deal for the Ducks. Seattle would be a lot more appealing than Pullman...and a lot closer. Plus there's nothing better than getting an extra chance to laugh at little Puppy fans in their own hometown! One thing Oregon and WSU fans would have in common...
Coug Delusions?
19 Monday, 21 June 2010 17:15
You are living a dream world if you think the Ducks are going to give up a home game every year. If the Cougs want to give up their home game and play this game every other year at Qwest, that would be doable.
Just say no to Seattle
20 Monday, 21 June 2010 17:53
Why would any college football team agree to play WSU in Seattle every year? Especially a team like Oregon with one of the most intimidating home field advantages in college football. When pigs fly.
games at Qwest
21 Monday, 21 June 2010 19:55
deep duck
as EC Rules (the author & also poster #4) says, then Wazzou should consider poster #15's comments. No doubt that it would be an economic boost for the Cougs if they played THEIR annual home game against the UofO one year & OSU the next at Qwest. That MIGHT be doable, however Oregon giving up their home game against WSU doesn't compute. One, the UofO doesn't care about taking over Seattle, lol. Two, (since it's all about the benjamins) this is no Red River Shootout, there is NO rivalry here. Three, (siaatb) did you consider the response of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce? Aside from #15's game revenue estimates, what about the local hotel/motels, eateries, bars, car rental agencies, taxi cabs, grocers, bus lines, parking lots, etc. I'm sure they'll be thrilled with this idea. If this is seen as a panacea for WAZZOU, then they should consider moving their annual home game each year, although the beevs might consider this annual plan, I wouldn't know. Just don't tell the local Pullman CoC. This idea is not a win/win for Eugene & the UofO. EC Rules has painted a crimson colored vision from a very one sided/slanted view, & there's nothing wrong with that. However, enriching the Seattle economy every other year at the expense of a Duck home game is not a good idea. I am a Duck alum, but I do not live in either state, & have no personal economic interest, as in full disclosure.
Absolutely insane
22 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 00:32
Stan Marsh
Anyone dumb enough to think that the UO would give up a home game to play freakin' WSU in Seattle should not be allowed to vote or operate a motor vehicle/heavy machinery. There are several reasons this sentiment is absolutely ridiculous(season ticket holders shafted, extra travel, 9 game conference schedule already means 4 home 5 away games every other year) but we need not go beyond what has been stated numerous times: Oregon gives up a game at Autzen to play the irrelevant Cougs in Duck Hater Central??? Get the Hell out of here with that garbage!
It is also very important to note one gigantic falsehood.
23 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 00:48
Stan Marsh
The idea that the UO would make MORE money splitting 70k in ticket sales(and come on, that is the absolute most optimistic attendance) is just preposterous. Please explain how 35k ticket sales and ZERO parking/concessions/duck store sales would make money over 56k ticket sales plus all of the above. Again, this whole idea is absolute nonsense. It's bad for Oregon's football team, it's bad for Oregon's fans, it's bad for the UO's bottom line, it's bad for the city of Eugene(hotels/malls/restaurants/etc). I'm trying not to be too harsh here, but come on man, this is just off the hook ridiculous.
24 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 06:45
EC Rules
I understand the emotional response but you need to take a breath and think about the scenario. If you put on an Oregon hat and actually choose to look at this objectively here is how it could and should play out as a win-win for both schools. 1) Money. Do you think that Bill Moos knows how much money you all make on a football home weekend? I'm pretty sure Moos was a Duck Athletic Director for more than a decade. Would he put a package together and expect an Oregon AD to agree to anything that wouldn't be a significant increase? Relax. I doubt you'd screw yourselves and everyone gets the value of a home Oregon weekend. The key is looking at the two year revenue mix. Home and away revenue. You only get about 300K when you visit Pullman. So, even the most generous estimates (like your guy above) put that at 3.5 million over two years to play us. What if the deal was 5 million to Oregon over two years? You still make a crapload of money. No one knows what the deal terms would be and all the things you list are obviously going to have to be considered. But to say that it's not doable because your one home weekend every two years would outweigh two years at a sold-out Qwest is ludicrous. Wait until the money details come out. I doubt that Oregon or WSU AD's would cut a bad deal for their school. 2) Giving up home field. So, what is it. Just about every single Duck on this thread has felt it necessary to disparage WSU's program. Why the need for home field then? Wouldn't it make sense to use the game as a platform to expand market reach similar to what Notre Dame is doing with their neutral site games? I've always said this is more like The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (Florida v. Georgia) in which it's a getting together of geographical rivals. You undervalue the incredible atmosphere of 75K people split 50/50 in a game would make. It might just make for a lot of fun for fans every year on both sides of the fence. 3) Giving up a home game. Where is it said that Oregon would have one fewer home game? WSU has to overcome the same situation with it's local constiutents and they are in a much worse position because their operating budget it lower than Oregon's. If you move this to neutral site every year you simply take that money and spend it on either a bodybag game you play at Autzen every year or spend it on a home/home with a marquee school. There is nothing that says both schools can't just schedule an additional home game out of conference when the Pac-10 rotation has you short one home game. I'm assuming that it's not about playing WSU at Autzen as you all clearly think the status of our team renders that unnecessary to win. 4) Season ticket holders will be ticked. Again, same answer as above. If you have the same amount of home games and sub out WSU for Texas A&M what is there to be upset about? What if Oregon negotiated preferred seating for their season tickets holders up at Qwest? There is a creative solution and to dismiss it out of hand is just reacting emotionally. 5) Oregon OR WSU footprint in Seattle. Like it or not, Seattle is the single most important city in the Northwest. It holds the bulk of our schools alumni and many influential givers. You underestimate the value of presence there. Just look at your own alumni association in King County. It's also the single most important recruiting area in the Northwest. How many players from King/Pierce/Snohomish County are you recruiting this year? It would only take ONE game of those kids standing on the Duck sidelines watching that sort of neutral site game in their backyard to understand that they could play one game a season in their own backyard and not feel like the enemy. Obviously, there is ground to cover but your responses are either ill informed or rash. There is a creative solution here that satisfies the needs of both schools and alumni. We don't have to be hated rivals to make it work. Going to a football can be fun without having to hate the people wearing the colors of the other school. It could be a giant party all weekend that both alumni bases enjoy. I know I have plenty of Duck friends that I wouldn't need to fight to enjoy drinking with.
In other words, EC, you can't answer the question
25 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 13:23
Stan March
Moos will wave his magic wand and miraculously generate an extra 30k in ticket sales so Oregon doesn't lose money AND a home game. If WSU wants to play THEIR home game at Qwest, then sign us up. Otherwise, this is beyond a pipe dream. It is flat ignorant.
Stan, take the time to read
26 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 13:28
EC Rules
I don't see a question that wasn't answered in your semi-coherent and juvenile post. I answered exactly how it would make sense fiscally for both teams. If you can't understand what's being written then there is no point in debating further.
In other words you can't answer any of the questions
27 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 13:39
Stan Marsh
"There is a creative solution here" but you can't give one. What is Bill Moos going to do to make up for 20k ticket sales and all of the other money generated by a home game, wave his magic wand? Do you REALLY think Oregon/WSU is going to get a National TV broadcast? You keep mentioning the Cocktail Party and RRS, as if those 2 contests would be ANYTHING like Oregon/WSU. The sentiment is a joke. UGA/UF and OU/UT are 4 of the biggest, oldest and most successful teams and rivalries in all of college football(not to mention the markets). Nobody gives a rats ass about Oregon vs WSU except WSU. Your suggestion that Oregon can just up and add another home game like scheduling is no big deal is just plain ignorant. Schedules are set years in advance. Home and homes don't always happen in back to back years. There is ZERO way to guarantee that Oregon wouldn't lose a home game. What if that happens during Oregon's 4 home 5 away conference schedule? That becomes 3-6. What if Oregon already has 1 OOC game scheduled on the road? Now we're talking 5 home games and 7 road games?? I'm sure your response will involve Oregon dropping or rescheduling. Again, all that to lose money and lose a home game just to play WSU in Seattle? The concept is LAUGHABLE. WSU is in the position of financial and recruiting weakness, not Oregon. Oregon has next to zero reason to do this, and TONS of reasons not to. The sooner you grasp this, the sooner you will stop looking like an idiot. Now if WSU gives up THEIR home game to play at Qwest, then sign us up. Otherwise, just stop with this nonsense.
28 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 13:43
Few posts from Duck lovers on this thread have yielded logical arguments as to why this would not make sense. Moos has no wand other than a love of WSU and in-depth knowledge of the Oregon athletic department. One poster outlined that we are wearing Crimson-colored glasses. As much as it is entertaining to banter with Duck fans (we did the same with Beaver fans a little while back), please note that this is a Coug website. So OF COURSE the "bias" will be Coug-based. Feel free to keep dropping playground tantrums on this site but I would maybe target your Ducky boards for that. Okay, enough pettiness. Back on topic....this move makes a lot of sense and I hope it happens! I am excited about the creativity that Moos is bringing to the school. It's about time we try different avenues.
Did you read the post?
29 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 13:56
EC Rules
The creative solution is in the five points I make in response to your rants. Go read them. If you look at the money on a two year basis then it more than makes up for ONE home game and road game in Pullman. YOU ONLY GET PAID ABOUT 300K A GAME WHEN YOU PLAY AT MARTIN. Is it clicking in now? Scheduling works in two phases. Long term contracts and then near term gap filling. For instance, we have had a home and home with UNLV on the books for years now. We only scheduled a home and home with SMU at the last minute. Scheduling changes to assure continuity in your annual schedule happen ALL THE TIME. To say that you book a schedule for a given season and then don't touch it for years is asinine. I appreciate the pathetic attempt at disparaging WSU once again around the rivalry. I would just say this. Rivalries are built over the long term and you can have more than one. It really is OK. I don't care nearly as much about Oregon as I do UW or Oregon State but I'm more than happy to say that a game with the Ducks means more than ASU or UofA. A lack of vision is the guy that sits back and thinks that WSU v. UO can't grow into a meaningful and really entertaining NATIONAL game if you invest in the experience as partners. I'm sure some clown in Florida was saying the same thing and probably still is about Georgia.
Oregon will NEVER give up a home game to play in Seattle
30 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 16:03
Stan Marsh
Anyone who thinks so is stupid or just plain crazy, period. Oregon's 2011 schedule would have SEVEN ROAD GAMES. Do you comprehend that? What exactly is it that is just so hard for you to understand here? You seem to think Oregon can just replace the lost game at Qwest with a home opponent every year. THAT is what is asinine. It's obviousy why WSU would want to leave Pullman, but for Oregon to skip a game at Autzen, one of THE very best home field advantages in the entire nation?!? Not a chance. Not one iota. This is why it is ridiculous for you to continue espousing this idea. Again, if WSU plays THEIR home game in Seattle? Great. Good for both teams. Otherwise, you really need to get off this stinking dead horse. Go post this on some other boards. You will get your ass laughed off.
Clearly, there is no ability to reason with you
31 Tuesday, 22 June 2010 17:31
EC Rules
I feel like I've actually gotten dumber conversing with you Stan. If you actually read the article with any care you would have seen that the most likely target is 2012 and that is actually when we are scheduled to host you guys. You wouldn't have to adjust your home schedule until 2013. It might just be a two year contract to see how this goes. You think Oregon would have trouble filling one slot in 2013? Clearly, you are blinded with emotion and unable to actually reason through this but even you has to see that wouldn't be a huge issue. Finally, you just got done telling us that we blow and that there is no rivalry and then you turn around and say that you don't want to give up home field advantage to play us? That's called circular logic Stan.
Yes everyone needs money
32 Wednesday, 18 April 2012 08:37
John Groce
Yes everyone needs money Kamagra

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