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April 24, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Woodward speaks on Apple Cup-Qwest no-go

UW athletic director Scott Woodard had been deliberately silent the last 10 days or so as the controversy raged about the potential of moving the Apple Cup to Qwest Field, saying he didn’t want to comment while negotiations were ongoing. But now that the deal is off the table he met with reporters today at practice to talk about it.
Woodward wasn’t as specific as WSU AD Jim Sterk in saying that it broke down over tickets, though he admitted that was part of it — there was a concern about making sure that as many UW season ticket holders would be able to get in.
“I think there were other issues out there as well,” he said. “First and foremost, we are going to take care of our student-athletes, which we always talked about, and our fanns and season-ticket holders. So yeah, that (tickets) was an issue.”
Woodward said he was not really caught off-guard by the fan reaction to the proposal,k saying he expected it might be intense, and that it wasn’t a factor in today’s news.
“I knew there would be harsh resistance from a vocal part of our fan base that wanted tradition, and that’s an important thing you weigh, financial considerations versus tradition. And it’s something I expected. … I wasn’t shocked by the response at all.”
Woodward said he would still be open to proposals to play games at Qwest Field, whether against the Cougars or anyone else. He said such proposals are “very common” and that he considers this one “just another concept.”
“We are always open for great ideas for Husky athletics and Husky football, and first & Goal obviously proposed a very interesting concept,” he said. “We will always be open to listening to those concepts and those ideas as long as it benefits the University of Washington.”
Asked if there are any hard feelings between the two schools over the death of the deal, he said no. “Not between Jim Sterk and I. I have the utmost admiration for Jim as an athletic director and a person. He’s a great guy.”

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