Wildfires on West Coast may force WSU to move opener

It seems that just about every summer, wildfires ravage the West Coast and they get worse every year. The conditions in Washington have elevated over the last month and it may force one team to reschedule their opening game in just over a week.

According to the Seattle Times, the Washington Cougars may have to reschedule their game against Portland State on September 5. The air is still pretty clouded in Pullman and if the condition doesn’t get better, the game may have to be moved.

“We’re watching it really close,” Washington State Athletic Director Bill Moos told the Spokesman-Review. “Of course we are concerned about the health and safety of our student athletes and our fans, as well as coaches and staff. I’m hoping we will get some relief with some rain. We’re testing it every day.”

There have been talks of actually moving the game to another stadium and away from Pullman. Moos has talked with the University of Idaho about moving the game there, but the Vandals’ stadium has half the capacity of the Cougars’ stadium at only 16,000.

Rescheduling the game might be tougher than actually moving to a different venue. The Cougars have an open weekend September 26 and 27, but the Vikings host Western Oregon that Saturday. Coincidentally, the Vikings have a bye week on September 19, but the Cougars have a game that weekend against Wyoming.

There have been discussions of moving the game into early December which could, depending on how the Cougars’ season goes, determine their bowl eligibility. Adam Lewis of Seattlepi.com said that the team should move it to CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders.

The Sounders, unfortunately host Toronto that evening, but another big possibility is having the Cougars “host” the game on the road. The Times suggests that the Cougars could play the game at rival Washington’s Husky Stadium, who play at Boise State on September 4.

There are tons of options for this game with the last resort being to cancel it altogether. Hopefully that doesn’t have to happen and the air is clear enough to play the game a week from Saturday.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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