Washington is really putting the buy in ‘buy games’ going forward.
The Huskies are paying a reported $1.75 million to Arkansas State for their future home game against the Red Wolves on Sept. 18, 2021.
Why is that amount notable? Well according to the San Jose Mercury News, that’s the largest amount a Pac-12 school has paid for a non-conference contest and only the second time a school has gone above $1.3 million for a game (Oregon paid San Jose State a then-record $1.6 million last year).
“There were only a few years left (until the date of the game), and we didn’t have a lot of options,’’ Washington athletic director Jen Cohen told the paper. “There aren’t a lot of options for folks who are willing to come to Seattle.”
Obviously there’s a supply-and-demand issue at work in this case with the opening just two years away but as Jon Wilner gets into during the piece, the lack of options out West compared to football-program rich areas like Texas or the Southeast are also in play.
We’ve seen Power Five programs pony up big sums as a result and given this latest figure to emerge from the Pac-12, it probably won’t be long at all before we see a $2 million guarantee given out to some other Sun Belt or Conference USA school.
Hopefully for the Huskies though, maybe they can at least avoid putting up all that cash and losing like a certain SEC program did earlier in 2019.