Milan Puskar Stadium
When you live in the greatest state in America during the fall, there is no better place to spend your Saturdays than at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.
The Mountaineer Mantrip signals the start of the day as the team arrives at the stadium. As the players prepare to start their work day, the band and cheerleaders lead them into the stadium as they show their love to the greatest fans around.
Prior to entering the locker room, they touch a piece of coal, paying respect to the hard-working, blue-collar people who travel down the mine on their mantrip, as to begin their work each day.
As the Mountaineers begin their warmup routine, 60,000 fans leave their designated tailgate areas and pack the double-tiered structure.
The faithful welcomes "The Pride of West Virginia" as its music and choreographed performance prepares and excites everyone in anticipation of the game.
The stadium starts to rock as the ball is kicked off and doesn't stop as each score is celebrated until another WVU victory is signaled with the playing of "Take Me Home, Country Roads".
Each fan has an unobstructed view of the playing field and there's not a bad seat in the house. Plenty of restrooms, concession and souvenir stands add to the fan comfort of this facility. Lights for exciting night games, handicapped seating and plenty of room for tailgating add to the stadium's list of first-class accessories.
The stadium is in the middle of a multi-million dollar facelift as the concourses are being widened and new entrance gates, concession venues and restroom facilities are being constructed. The east side upgrades will be in use for the 2016 season and the west side will be done for the 2017 season.
Funding was made available through a $75 million facilities bond, $25 million in private donations through the Mountaineer Athletic Club and $6 million from West Virginia's multimedia rights contract with IMG.
A new playing surface, FieldTurf Revolution 2.5, was installed for the 2016 season, giving West Virginia one of the country's safest and most comfortable surfaces. It has been given high marks for its softness, durability, safety and lack of abrasiveness.
Just above the skyboxes on the west side is the West Virginia press box. Complete with a dining area, private booths and a camera deck, the spacious three-story structure gives media a great place to cover Mountaineer football.
Below the press box, 12 luxurious stadium suites under the camera deck offer reception, dining, kitchen, restroom and seating areas to WVU fans, providing a great view of the playing field and the entire facility. An additional set of 18 stadium suites in a two-story structure were completed in the North end zone in time for the 2004 season, giving more fans and businesses an opportunity to socialize and enjoy games in first-class comfort - offering WVU a great way to generate revenue, increase ADA accessible seating and restrooms, and update the look of the stadium. South end zone suites were constructed and in use for the 2008 season.
Light-emitting diode (LED) boards running down each sideline and provides in-game statistics, scoring, messaging and sponsor advertising. Facia LED boards also were implemented along the bottom of the stadium and in each end zone through West Virginia's IMG agreement, as well as new graphic coverage on the stadium's field walls, giving a much-needed updated look to the edifice.
In 2008, score/video boards, complete with high resolution video and expanded messaging capabilities, became part of the fan experience. A partnership between the WVU Foundation and Panasonic helped the global electronics maker install a new video board system. The system, valued at approximately $5 million, was made available to WVU in part through a generous commitment from alumnus Ben Statler and his wife Jo, and a donor who wished to remain anonymous. Panasonic, together with WVU, uses the new video board systems as a showcase to feature the latest state-of-the-art video and audio technology. The video board system enhanced the experience for fans, and more importantly, provides opportunities for increased revenue for the athletic department from advertising.
The Puskar Stadium makeover included a new video system that is three times wider than the old south end zone system and with higher resolution LED quality.