The Mountaineers have a brand new home in the Big 12. The eyeball test of the difference between the Big East and the Big 12 could tell any fan that WVU made a big jump in class. With this comes added expectations of the team, fans, university and stadium. Mountaineer Field may have its best days behind it, but the future is still bright.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Mountaineer Field is one of the few college stadiums to sell alcohol. Selling alcohol was implemented after the powers that be at the University figured out that many fans were leaving the stadium during halftime for a few beverages and then returning to the game. Now, you're made to stay in the stadium during halftime and purchase beer at the same prices you'd find at an NFL stadium. Alcohol will run anywhere between $7.50 through $9.50.
You're not going to find a lot of unique options throughout the stadium, either. Funnel fries, Philly cheese steaks and personal Papa John's pizzas are about as exotic as you're going to find, with many of the normal stadium fare still being the standard. Also, the quality of the food here is not up to par as compared to other similar stadiums. Many of the items seemed to be pre-made and just reheated for you, such as the pepperoni rolls and popcorn. The more unique items that I spoke about earlier seemed to be made in the concessions stands, but I'm not positive there was a lot else that wasn't just reheated.
Again, the prices here are in line with an NFL stadium, so I would think that is a little high, especially for the quality and quantity of food and beverages that you're receiving. An example of this is the extremely small $3.50 hot chocolate. I'm not sure of the exact number of ounces in this drink, but it seemed really small for the price. The bottom line is that this is one area of Mountaineer Field that could use a lot of improvement.
The atmosphere is a little hit and miss depending on the game and how the team is doing. This may be true for almost any team, but it seems to be a little extreme at WVU. The amount of people in the crowd varies widely when the team has been winning as compared to when the Mountaineers are on a losing streak. The stadium setting does not lend itself to giving a great atmosphere, so the atmosphere really depends on the students, the band and the crowd.
The band can really set the tone before the game starts, as their opening performance is a great reason to make sure you show up early for the game. If you really want to enjoy the entire WVU experience, make sure you arrive early to see the band perform.
There are a few little things that are done to try to make the atmosphere exciting, such as letting off smoke as the team comes out, the students' chanting, and the Mountaineer shooting his gun after WVU scores. There is a very large video board on one end of the stadium and one that runs along the length of the field; however, they are really only used for replays, game time and scores. The atmosphere has the potential to be one of the best in football, but there is more work that needs to be done.
Morgantown would be a pretty small town without the college. That being said, there is just about anything and everything you could want around the stadium, all within walking distance. There are several hotels, bars and restaurants and definitely all the tailgating one could ever want.
Season ticket holders pay a large amount of money to tailgate in the lots around the stadium, so be sure to make the rounds or find a great spot to grill and have a good time. There are a lot of chain restaurants directly around the stadium, but a local place that stands out would be the Boston Beanery. This is a nice restaurant to have a before or after game meal, or it can easily turn into a nice bar in the evening.
WVU is known as a heavy party school, but most of this "partying" happens downtown or in the tailgating area. If you're looking for more local restaurants or bars, your best bet would be High Street in downtown Morgantown.
When most Americans think of West Virginia, it seems as if they would envision someone in a coonskin cap, with no teeth and bare feet. You may find a person or two like this within the WVU fans at a Mountaineer game, but it's probably unlikely. Most fans will be like any other football fan--very passionate about the 'Eers and extremely happy to be at the game. The fans will be very engaged to start the game and may or may not be engaged by the end of the game, depending on how the team performed.
The part that may bring down the Mountaineer fans are those that just become vulgar during the game. It seems as though there is a rash of fans that become vulgar during the game and mostly in the direction of the opposing team's fans. It seems as though there are more and more fans being hauled out of the stadium by state troopers. I'm not sure of the reason for this (other than alcohol), or how to slow down this trend; this is merely an observation. Overall though, most WVU fans are great and are really proud of their team.
You can get into the stadium area from two different directions, and there are several places you can park. You're not going to get a parking place close to the stadium unless you are a season ticketholder. (These parking lots carry large price tags; the closest lot has a four figure price). If you're someone who is unable to walk long distances, I'd suggest contacting the University for advice. The traffic getting into the city varies greatly depending on the time of the game. Plan on sitting for quite awhile if the game starts at noon; however, you will be able to maneuver around much easier the later the game starts. (Everyone can filter into Morgantown throughout the day, as opposed to all at once). Also, plan on sitting in some traffic on your way out of town after the game, no matter what time the game starts and ends.
The bathroom situation in Mountaineer Field may not be a unique one for college football fields, but it's definitely worth mentioning. Bathrooms inside the stadium are extremely large and extremely plentiful. However, to put it nicely, the bathrooms are just disgusting. Considering this is a large college stadium, I suppose this is no surprise, but there could surely be a little more effort put towards keeping things clean during the game. Also, there are not always paper towels available to dry your hands. You will be able to see that the stadium is out of date, and the bathrooms are the most obvious items that are outdated.
The ticket prices were high when the team played in the Big East, and while they still may be a little high, it's slightly more justified because of the new conference. Many of the seats between the end zones are taken up by either season ticket holders or students, so those are tough tickets to get unless you're buying from a third party. End zone seats can run around $60 and go up from there. Food and beverage prices are also somewhat high for the quality that you get. Considering this and the fact that the atmosphere is a little hit or miss, the powers that be at the University should consider dropping either the ticket prices or the concession prices just slightly.
The tailgating all along the city is really amazing. The city itself is built for having plenty of space for tailgating, and the Mountaineer fans really love it. Considering the concession stands are nothing to write home about, I'd be sure to take full advantage of all the other tailgating and restaurant options before and after a game.
The Mountaineers and Mountaineer Field have a very bright future in front of them. Being a part of their new conference really opens up a lot of opportunities for the school, teams, fans and stadium. There are definite areas in which the school and stadium can improve; the university just has to take the time and money to get the job finished. Hopefully, there will be great improvement in the coming years.
The full name of the home of the West Virginia football stadium is Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, which holds 60,000 fans. The largest crowd ever was 70,222 for the November 20, 1993 game against Miami. John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" has been played at every home game since 1972, with Denver even making an appearance to sing the song live at the 1980 dedication of Mountaineer Field.
West Virginia fans have a reputation for being some of the most eclectic in college football. But what is the experience really like?
Been to a few Mountaineer games here. As always, parking is a tough one. Both times Ive had to park for away and had to pay $15 each time, and that was 4 hours before the game. Great stadium, had a almost sellout crowd and they were on their feet the entire time, despite a 63-21 win. Food was way over priced in the stadium so needless to say I ate afterwards. Not much to look for outside the stadium food wise. As a WVU fan, I got along great with the fans, but the few hundred UCONN fans had a time. Certainly not a place to go if your an opposing team fan. Overall, if you want to see a great college game, Mountaineer Field is a great place to go.
Love me some WVU football
Mountaineer Field is a great place to watch a college game. Parking can be a hassle if you dont know where to go. A suggestion, park at the WVU Coliseum and take the shuttle to the stadium. It is $4/person round trip. Tailgating in the Blue Lot is fun and the fans are friendly. Stadium food is expensive, but that is the same at just about every stadium. WVU is also adding new food to its concession line-up in 2013. The fans are very passionate and can get be very into the game at times. However, that can vary with the opponent. Before the game starts, be sure to take a walk down into WVU's Hall Of Traditions, to see old memorabilia and trophies, etc. A very nice and interesting place for the college football fan. Stadium staff is friendly and helpful. With a few minor updates, Mountaineer field could become an even better stadium.
735-A Chestnut Ridge Rd
Morgantown, WV 26505
132 Pleasant St
Morgantown, WV 26505
227 Chestnut St
Morgantown, WV 26505
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