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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Cougars set season ticket sales record

 (The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN — That Washington State broke its school record for season-ticket sales after three straight 10-win seasons isn’t a surprise. But selling every single season ticket available? That’s another story.

The Cougars have sold 15,447 season tickets for the 2004 season, and that’s all they had allotted. In fact, WSU originally had 14,815 seats reserved for season tickets — the previous school record was 12,815 from last year — but started saving more when initial demand was so high.

Single-game tickets are still available for every game but USC on Oct. 30, which has sold out, but fans wanting season tickets are going to have to join a waiting list for 2005 that’s already got about 250 names on it.

“In life there are good problems and there are bad problems, and this is a good problem,” said Pete Isakson, WSU’s associate director of athletics for external operations. “It’s a little bit of a learning curve because we’ve never crossed this bridge before.”

Even though there are single-game seats available, they too have moved quickly this fall. The Cougars game against Oregon has just 100 single seats left. Against Idaho, it’s 815 seats. For Stanford, 1,115.

Those numbers, however, do not include student tickets. WSU reserves 12,000 Martin Stadium seats for students, and thus far the school has sold nearly 10,000 of those seats. But any leftover seats are sold to students on a single-game basis, not to the general public.

The Cougars do have about 15,000 tickets left for this week’s home game to be played at Qwest Field in Seattle, though Isakson said sales could move quickly with the larger population base around Seattle.

As WSU had suggested earlier, remaining tickets for the Apple Cup — and there will be some, probably between 500-1,000 — will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis in an online offering sometime in early October.

Next year, Isakson said the school plans to remedy the season-ticket issue by offering fewer single-game tickets. It’s also possible, he said, that the sale of single-game tickets will be delayed until season tickets have been sold, so the school can better gauge availability.

Fans who wish to purchase season tickets for next year are encouraged to sign up for the waiting list now. There is no cost to be on the list, and they will receive priority in 2005 before season-ticket sales are opened to the public.

“(It’s a) difficult situation because we want to try to accommodate as many people as possible,” Isakson said, “but at the same time it’s a good situation because there’s an interest in the Cougars.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Cougar Depot in Pullman or by calling 1-800-GOCOUGS, then choosing option three.

Going West

Head coach Bill Doba said he wasn’t a fan of going to Seattle for a home game in 2002 when the team first traveled there.

“The first time I was really against it, leaving Martin Stadium,” Doba said.

But since then he’s changed his tune.

“It’s not that much of an inconvenience, and it’s great to walk into that stadium with 60-some thousand and they’re all in crimson and yelling. That’s a plus. It’s a lot of fun for our kids and you make some bucks too.”

In Seattle, the Cougars have played against Nevada and Idaho in the last two years, so this year’s game against Colorado is likely to be the stiffest test WSU has faced thus far. And the trip will also look a little different, since the game is not being played on Labor Day weekend. In 2002, the Cougars spent an extra day in Seattle. Not this year.

In fact, WSU will fly out of Pullman Friday afternoon and come back immediately after the game. It’s not inconceivable that the Cougars could be back by 7 p.m. And while Doba would rather have the game over the holiday weekend, he’s still looking forward to a third trip to Qwest Field.

“I think it’s a great idea for Labor Day weekend when most of our students are over there anyway,” he said. “But it’s a great venue and our kids look forward to it.”


Punter Kyle Basler was named Pac-10 special teams player of the week, averaging 47.0 yards per attempt against UNM. … Left tackle Calvin Armstrong rolled his ankle during 9-on-7 drills Monday, and missed Tuesday’s practice. Armstrong was wearing a boot to protect the ankle, but it doesn’t appear that the injury will be serious enough to keep him out of Saturday’s game. … The Cougars added Travis Elisara to their scout team on Tuesday. The Spokane native was a record-setting passer at Ferris and spent a year at New Mexico before transferring to WSU. He had planned on joining the team as a walk-on during the second semester, but the coaching staff called and asked if he’d be interested in playing the rest of this season after third-string quarterback Mike Reilly left the team last week.