As of Monday afternoon, WSU had sold about 1,900 tickets for its Dec. 26 bowl game in El Paso, Texas — out of its allotment of 6,000.

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If Washington State’s bowl game had been earlier or later, or perhaps in a different locale, the Cougars might have had more luck moving tickets.

But as it stands, the Cougars’ Dec. 26 Hyundai Sun Bowl matchup in El Paso, Texas, against Miami is proving to be a tough sell.

As of Monday afternoon, WSU had sold about 1,900 tickets for its bowl game — out of its allotment of 6,000.

Paul Finn, WSU’s assistant athletic director for ticket sales, said Monday in an email that the Cougars are about where they expected to be with ticket sales.

“Once we knew the date was going to be the day after Christmas, we knew that it would eliminate some fans,” Finn said. “I really think what moves tickets for bowl games is first, the date of the game, second, the location and third the matchup.”

The Cougars’ ticket office pre-sold about 600 tickets before the game was announced — but this pales in comparison with the 2,500 pre-announcement reservations WSU took in 2013 before the New Mexico Bowl.

That, however, also was the first bowl game WSU had been to in a decade.

Even though the New Mexico Bowl was played a week earlier in 2013 than the Sun Bowl will be this year, WSU sold more than 4,500 of its 5,000-ticket allotment that year.

Having an extra week this time around has helped the ticket office logistically by giving them more time to distribute tickets, but WSU does not expect to sell out its Sun Bowl allotment.

Finn said WSU expects to distribute between 3,500 to 4,000 tickets by game day. Fortunately for the Cougars, the Pac-12 will cover up to 50 percent of unsold tickets from their bowl allotment of 6,000.

The Cougars also have tried to take a creative approach in moving tickets. They have asked WSU fans who cannot make the trip to the Sun Bowl to buy tickets and donate them to military members in El Paso.

“Coug fans have been very gracious by donating tickets to local military members in El Paso,” Finn said.

These donated tickets will go to soldiers at Fort Bliss, the Army base right outside El Paso.

“In talking to the Sun Bowl office, they say that the soldiers just absolutely love it, and being the day after Christmas, when some are far from home, this is a welcomed distraction,” Finn said. “One thing we know for sure is that we will have more fans at this game than Miami will.”

As of Monday night, a Miami Athletic Department spokesman had not responded to inquiries about the Hurricanes’ ticket sales for the Sun Bowl. Miami’s ticket allotment is the same as WSU’s — 6,000.

Through the WSU alumni association, the Cougars also offered their fans travel packages to the Sun Bowl that include airfare and hotel.

The packages are sold out, but for anyone seeking a round-trip flight to El Paso, Katie Savage, the special-events coordinator at the WSU Alumni Association said as of Friday there were 20 seats remaining on the plane chartered to transport Cougars fans from Seattle and Spokane to the bowl game. The plane’s capacity is about 143.

WSU coach Mike Leach and Miami interim coach Larry Scott were in El Paso on Monday for a news conference with local media.

Sun Bowl tickets are available through the WSU ticket office.