Moos all but puts a fork in more Clink games

THE IDEA that started with such promise, with nearly 64,000 fans on hand for the inaugural game in 2002, is going out with a whimper. WSU athletic director Bill Moos told a chat room audience at the Seattle Times yesterday that he’s all but pulling the plug on more Cougar home games at CenturyLink Field – at least for the time being.

“There is a good likelihood that it (this Thursday’s tilt with Rutgers) will be the last Seattle Game for the foreseeable future. It has served its purpose and the fact that we have invested considerably in Martin Stadium leads me to think that we should play our home games in Pullman,” Moos wrote in the Times’ chat.

The annual Seattle game has been lucrative for WSU. Even a modest Clink turnout of 40,000 generates $500,000 more in revenue than a typical Saturday in Pullman. Barring a miracle walk-up crowd, Thursday’s game will border on embarrassing. As of yesterday, only 26,000 tickets had been sold.

WSU’s first four games at the Clink (nee Qwest Field) averaged 55,343 fans, making the annual affair a $2 million windfall for the Cougs. WSU went 4-1 in those games.

The subsequent four games averaged just more than 45,000, and the Cougars went 2-2 in them.

WSU didn’t play at the Clink in 2010 and then to reinvigorate attendance given the doldrums the program had fallen into, Oregon State was made the Seattle opponent in 2011 and Oregon in 2012. The Beaver game drew 49,219 and the Duck game spiked to 60,929. WSU lost both.

Last year’s contest against an outstanding Stanford team barely cleared 40,000 and the Card won in a rout.

And now this Thursday looms at a much lower attendance figure.

Cougar fans' reaction Monday on Twitter to the 26,000 tickets sold so far ranged from disgust by the true loyalists to excuses by others ranging from the game being on a Thursday, to the opponent, to Labor Day weekend.

WHEN ASKED IN HIS CHAT if the Cougs may introduce some new uniform pieces this season, Moos was coy, responding, “As in the past what we wear will be a surprise and there is a strong possibility you may see a new combination for the coming season. Be sure to be on hand to see it in person!”.

Earlier this summer, CF.C reported that WSU was close to a decision on adding a third helmet – white – to the uniform list. Whether the decal on it would be gray or crimson, or perhaps something new altogether, was not known by the sources of the information.

TO READ MOOS' ENTIRE CHAT ROOM CONVERSATION AT THE SEATTLE TIMES CLICK HERE.

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