SEATTLE – Washington and Washington state have agreed in principle to a five-year extension of the Apple Cup, ensuring the intrastate rivalry will continue at least through 2028.
The schools announced the agreement on Sunday, six days before playing both members of the Pac-12 Conference for the final time. There was uncertainty about whether the game would continue, as Washington will move to the Big Ten starting next season and Washington State has yet to find a permanent home for its sports programs.
Washington, ranked No. 4 in the latest AP Top 25, will host the Cougars on Saturday in Seattle. The Huskies (11-0, 8-0) will try to close out their first perfect regular season since 1991, while the Cougars (5-6, 2-6) need a win to become bowl eligible.
“For more than a century, fans across the state have marked the Apple Cup date on their calendars. We are pleased to be able to continue this beloved tradition for future generations of Coug fans,” said Washington State President , Kirk Schultz.
Next year’s game will be played on September 14 at Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. After that, the matchup will return to local campuses, with Washington State hosting games in Pullman in 2025 and 2027, and Washington hosting games at Husky Stadium in 2026 and 2028.
The terms of the agreement are still being finalized.
“The Apple Cup tradition is beloved by Huskies, Cougars and football fans throughout Washington and beyond, so one of my priorities has been to ensure it continues in this new era,” said Washington President , Ana Mari Cauce. “I am delighted that we can continue this tradition and usher in the new era at Lumen Field before returning to each campus.”
The agreement comes even as the parties are in the midst of pending litigation as Washington State and Oregon State look to keep the Pac-12 alive in the future.
Oregon State and Washington State won a major legal victory last Tuesday when a judge ruled that they have exclusive control of the Pac-12 and potentially hundreds of millions in assets, clearing the way for them to move forward in clarifying their plans. conference membership.
The Pac-12 and the outgoing schools, led by the University of Washington, appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court. On Thursday, the high court granted a temporary stay on the preliminary injunction until an emergency stay can be issued.
The states of Oregon and Washington have until November 28 to respond.
That is a question for the courts to decide. On the field, the deal appears to be a victory even as some in the fan base may complain about the decision to continue with 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,” said Washington State athletic director Pat Chun.