SEATTLE — Washington and Washington State have agreed in principle to a five-year extension of the Apple Cup, ensuring the in-state rivalry will continue through at least 2028.
The schools announced the agreement on Sunday, six days before playing for the final time with both members of the Pac-12 Conference. There was uncertainty whether the game would continue, with Washington moving to the Big Ten starting next season and Washington State yet to find a permanent home for its athletic 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 be trying to close out their first perfect regular season since 1991 while the Cougars (5-6, 2-6) need a win for bowl eligibility.
“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,” Washington State President Kirk Schulz said.
Next year’s game will be played on Sept. 14 at Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. After that, the matchup will return to the home campuses, with Washington State hosting games in Pullman in 2025 and 2027, and Washington hosting games at Husky Stadium in 2026 and 2028.
Terms of the agreement are still being finalized.
“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,” Washington President Ana Mari Cauce said. “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.”
The 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.
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,” Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said.
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