PULLMAN – Washington State will return to Qwest Field in Seattle next football season, but the contest will have a different significance.
It will be a Pac-12 Conference game.
The Cougars announced Thursday they will meet Oregon State at the home of the Seahawks on Oct. 22.
“Since arriving at Washington State, it has been my intent to bring a conference game to Qwest Field each year, preferably in October and with one of the Oregon schools,” said WSU athletic director Bill Moos, who took over the position last spring.
“Ideally we will fill Qwest Field with a sea of crimson but if not, the proximity to Corvallis and the Oregon State fan base should lend itself to a full venue.”
The current agreement is for one year, according to the school, though it is trying to make it a yearly event. Until the conference schedule is released, however, the Cougars will not know if they will be able to secure the facility.
“Hopefully, ensuing schedules will provide the same opportunity,” Moos said.
Qwest Field is scheduled to be home to the University of Washington while Husky Stadium is rebuilt. UW has said it will begin play at Qwest with next year’s Apple Cup on Nov. 26.
Washington State played at Qwest for eight consecutive years beginning in 2002, when it defeated Nevada 31-7. But during those years, the Cougars never played a Pac-10 game there.
The Cougars’ contract with First & Goal, which operates the facility, expired after the 2009 season and then-athletic director Jim Sterk was unable to work out a new deal for a game this year.
Before Sterk left WSU for San Diego State, however, he announced the Cougars were returning to Qwest in 2011 to face UNLV. That game, scheduled for Sept. 10, will now be at Martin Stadium.