Apple Cup Lives On: UW and WSU to keep playing through 2028

Nov 19, 2023, 12:17 PM | Updated: 2:54 pm

Apple Cup UW Huskies WSU Cougars Rome Odunze...

UW Huskies WR Rome Odunze scores a touchdown against the WSU Cougars in the 2022 Apple Cup. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

This year will not be the final Apple Cup rivalry game after all.

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The University of Washington and Washington State University announced Sunday that the two schools have agreed to a five-year contract to keep the in-state rivalry football game going.

The status of the Apple Cup was up in the air with UW leaving for the Big Ten after this year and WSU’s conference future uncertain. But now, the two schools will keep playing through 2028.

In 2024, the game will be at a neutral site, Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. That contest will be on Sept. 14, 2024, which will be very different than usual as the two teams have typically squared off during college football’s “Rivalry Week” at the end of November.

In 2025 and 2027, it will be in Pullman at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium, while Seattle’s Husky Stadium will host in 2026 and 2028. Dates for those four years have not been announced.

“The Apple Cup tradition is beloved by Huskies, Cougars and football fans across Washington and beyond, so one of my priorities has been to ensure that it continues into this new era,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to continue this tradition, and to kick off the new era at Lumen Field before returning to each campus. I’m grateful to (Washington athletic director Troy Dannen), our colleagues at Washington State University and our partners at First & Goal, Inc. for collaborating to make this happen. This is a win for our fans, our universities and the state of Washington.”

“The Apple Cup is one of the oldest and most renowned rivalries in all of collegiate athletics,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said. “For more than a century, fans across the state have been circling the Apple Cup date on their calendars. We are pleased that we will be able to continue this beloved tradition for future generations of Coug fans.”

This Saturday’s Apple Cup at Husky Stadium will be the 115th time the two schools will square off in football. The first clash took place back in 1900.

This year’s game is a big one for both sides. The unbeaten Huskies are heading to the Pac-12 Championship game on Dec. 1 and looking to cap off a perfect 12-0 regular season. The Cougars, meanwhile, are 5-6 and need a win to make it to a bowl game.

Washington won last year’s game in Pullman 51-33.

The WSU Radio Network broadcast of the 2023 Apple Cup will be carried on Seattle Sports 710 AM and the Seattle Sports app beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday with the pregame show. A 1 p.m. kickoff is set for the game.

Timing of Apple Cup deal

The Apple Cup agreement comes even as the sides are in the middle of pending litigation as Washington State and Oregon State look to keep the Pac-12 alive moving into the future.

WSU, Oregon State working to keep Pac-12 open, align with Mountain West

Oregon State and Washington State won a significant legal victory last Tuesday when a judge ruled that they have sole control of the Pac-12 and potentially hundreds of millions in assets, paving the way for them to move forward on clarifying their plans for conference affiliation.

The Pac-12 and departing schools, led by the University of Washington, appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court. The higher court on Thursday granted a temporary stay of the preliminary injunction until an emergency stay can be ruled upon.

Oregon State and Washington State have until Nov. 28 to respond.

That’s a matter for the courts to decide. On the field, the agreement appears to be a win even as some in the fan base may grumble about the decision to continue the Apple Cup.

“While there is certainly passion on both sides, there is a common desire to represent the great state of Washington in the annual showdown,” WSU athletic director Pat Chun said.

The Associated Press contributed to this post.

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