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Qwest experience worth doing again

SEATTLE – There will be numbers to crunch, opinions to weigh and bills to pay before Eastern Washington University can get a good handle on just how successful Saturday’s “Showdown on the Sound” football in Qwest Field really was.

And decide whether it would be worth it to make it an annual event.

A crowd of 6,124 showed up at the 65,000-seat home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks to watch the Eagles dismantle Portland State 47-10. But because of the variable ticket pricing used by the university, actual gate receipts were not immediately known.

Still, EWU athletic director Bill Chaves said that the decision to move the game from Cheney to the west side of the state was, “anecdotally, tremendous for the university.”

Chaves, noting how Eastern was able to connect with supporters and key alumni who reside west of the Cascade Mountains through not only the game, but a series of receptions and pregame events that were held, as well, said he would like to make a game in Seattle an annual event.

The cost to rent the field for the day was $50,000, according to Chase.

And there were also some additional travels costs that would not have been incurred had the game been played at Woodward Field.

“But the reality of it is, it’s an investment by the university for the exposure on the west side of the state,” Chaves said, adding he felt the school needed to sell between 5,000 and 5,500 tickets to Saturday’s game to break even financially. Steve Bergum

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