When 60,000 fans pack Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, the double-deck structure rocks, from the time the nationally famous Mountaineer marching band "The Pride of West Virginia" starts its pregame performance until the team takes the field to sing "Country Roads" after each home victory.
Every 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.
Additional amenities are on the way with the approval of $106 million in total athletic facility improvements in the spring of 2014 that will include a substantial portion of that amount to be used to upgrade the stadium's East, West, North and South concourses, restrooms, entrance gates and concessions. Funding will be 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.
Below the press box, 12 luxurious stadium suites right 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 - a great way to generate revenue, increase ADA accessible seating and restrooms, and update the look of the stadium.
Just above the skyboxes on the west wall is the West Virginia press box, one of the nation's best. 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.
Four new light-emitting diode (LED) boards at Milan Puskar Stadium are also in the future plans for Milan Puskar Stadium through West Virginia's IMG agreement, as well as new graphic coverage on the stadium's field walls, giving Milan Puskar Stadium a much-needed updated look.
In 2008, state-of-the-art 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 wishes 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 enhances the experience for fans, and more importantly, provides opportunities for increased revenue for the athletic department from advertising.
The recent 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. Two LED fascia boards running down each sideline provide in-game statistics, scoring, messaging and sponsor advertising. A south bowl auxiliary board was also installed.
On the playing field, West Virginia has one of the safest and most comfortable surfaces anywhere with the installation of FieldTurf Duraspine prior to the 2007 season. Receiving rave reviews for its softness, durability, safety factors and lack of abrasiveness, FieldTurf looks, feels and plays like a natural grass surface without the expense of upkeep, giving WVU one of the safest and best playing surfaces in college football.