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If this makes you happy, don't get too excited yet

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As you've read about below, the move of the Apple Cup to Qwest Field in Seattle is apparently dead. And more details are emerging, via the best beat reporter around:

According to sources in the WSU athletic department, the original agreement gave WSU and the University of Washington each 31,000 seats in Qwest Field every year. But in the past week, UW expressed its desire for about another 7,000 additional seats, the sources said, in an attempt to mollify season ticket holders.

The University of Washington has sold some 38,000 season tickets for this fall already and expects to come close to last year’s 43,500, according to athletics department spokesman Richard Kilwien. The school has sold as many as 56,200 season tickets in a single season since 1995.

I actually had wondered about that to some friends. I was curious why UW season ticket holders weren't making more of a fuss about that aspect, given that there would likely be a significant number of them that would never get the opportunity to watch an Apple Cup in its six years at Qwest. Apparently, there was more griping behind the scenes than we knew.

If you're excited about the fact that this is dead, you might want to temper your enthusiasm. I'd be pretty shocked if this thing was all the way dead.

First, look at what Sterk actually said. Not once did he say there was no chance this was ever going to happen; he said they wouldn't pursue it anymore. Translation: We're done being jerked around -- if you want us back in this game, you're going to have come up with something that makes it worth our time.

Second, the financial problems that both universities are facing are still very, very real. They're not going away because people feel better about playing the game at their stadium every other year. And for that reason, I believe this is a power play from Sterk.

You know what this reminds me of? The Dodgers and Manny Ramirez this past baseball offseason. Both sides needed each other, both sides knew it was in their best interest to be together because both sides had so much to gain from the relationship -- and so much to lose from the lack of one -- but one side wasn't going to be bullied into overpaying. Eventually, they did the smart thing that was in everyone's best interest.

There is just too dang much money on the table for everyone to walk away over 7,000 tickets. I'd be really surprised if this thing isn't resurrected at some point in the future. There's still a ton of time to get a deal in place before 2010.