West Virginia University has gotten a big time lift in athletic department income based on the IMG deal and the new Big 12 school payouts. They have really committed to enhancing the facilities around campus to keep up with the other schools in Power 5 and the Big 12. But is it enough?
Mountaineer fans seem to have recently become clueless and ignorant to how grand we really are. They feel like we need everything new and we need it now. But they do this without really knowing what goes into these projects. Funding is obviously a big concern but also our campus environment and surrounding area also plays into it. We just do not have a ton of useable space with our hilly terrain and condensed building over the years. But, listen, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my opinion.
People want bigger. They want these extravagant things that just do not make sense. We do not need bigger anything. We need more functional things. We need smart building to take place. Stretch our dollar in the right ways. And I really think Shane Lyons understands that where Oliver Luck just didn’t care. Everywhere Luck had been, money didn’t seem to matter to him. It was all about the completion. Then he would bolt for a new gig and leave the tax payers and administrators to pick up the pieces. Just look at what he did in Houston. Not good. Lyons, however, gets it. We are not rich. We are not Texas. So lets not pretend to be. Lets think before acting and building.
First things first, all these idiots saying that we are getting a new football stadium….
Please go play in traffic or something. I mean, be dumber people. You can’t.
We ARE NOT building a new stadium any time soon. And why would we? We have a great location and actually a ton of parking compared to most schools. Any time you put 60-80,000 people in a 100 acre area, there is obviously going to be traffic issues. Deal with it. Leave a little earlier, enjoy the parking lot a little later. That is no reason to spend $500 million on a new stadium.
And theres also a pretty good other reason we aren’t moving anytime soon…WE ARE SPENDING TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN UPGRADES….RIGHT NOW.
Why put in all this money just to pack up and move a mile up the road? It drives me crazy when all these experts declare that we are definitely building a new 100,000 seat palace up at Mylan Park. Just shut up. My god.
We built the team room. We built the new practice field and facilities. We had a major upgrade to the weight facilities, locker room, and player areas. We are building the upgraded concourses and box enhancements. We are constantly working with the hospital to make the parking situation more efficient. All positive things for our romantic battleship gray sound trapping stadium. We are going the right direction. Once again, we can’t compete with Texas or the private schools. But we sure as hell can compete with everybody else.
Now, with the concourses, I do like the idea. It should free up some space and make it flow a little better. But when we went down to TCU last fall, they had a similar layout and it didn’t work as well as you could imagine it would. Sure, the bathrooms and food concessions were tucked back away in corners to get people out of the walking concourse areas, but, where do you think those people congregated after purchasing food and taking pisses? The smaller bottle necked areas in front of the tunnels to the stands. 2 different times, we were stuck in these areas for many minutes. I have really never thought our concourse was all that bad. Way better than anywhere else I had seen minus Texas and obviously pro stadiums. We have been to many many places and our concourse and bathrooms have always flowed monumentally better than elsewhere. So hopefully this will make it even better but I really do not think it will make much of a difference.
When it comes to the entrances, those fixes will definitely help. Adding gates and different entrance points will be a huge upgrade. It will look really good too. No longer will we have chain link fences for gates. Professional as it gets. It would be cool to get some video boards outside the gates too. Lets really class this joint up. And now the students will have no excuse for getting in the gates at the end of 1st quarter anymore.
I think there are a few other opportunities at the stadium to enhance the product that wouldn’t be a huge cost to the AD too. I think they have the idea in the back of their minds too with one of them. The box seats suck. They are cold and windy in the later months and aren’t really premium seats anymore. Glass those in. Put little hospitality boxes behind the seats in the concourse for catering, couches and entertaining. Have those extend out to the beginning of the stairs to the upper sections and make tunnels to the stairs leading to the lower sections. It would barely create any problems in the concourse because nobody walks under the stairs to the upper levels anyway. And it could be a huge money grab with the companies that buy the rights to the suites. No brainer in my opinion.
Another idea is to face lift the press box. The press box itself is actually pretty functional and large. It’s just ugly. If you look on the outside of the Puskar Center and the team room, they put new materials on the outside of the concrete building. It makes it look new and updated. I’m not saying put bricks around the whole place like Texas or Oklahoma. But for heavens sake, lets try to make it look a little less like the the death star and a little more like a modern day facility.
And isn’t it time to put some names around the stadium. Liven it up. Let’s go! We need MOUNTAINEER FIELD at MILAN PUSKAR STADIUM on the press box. We need JACK FLEMING MEMORIAL PRESS BOX on the press box. We need to retire more names and numbers. We need banners and pictures of our past players and achievements littering the concourse pillars. How is there not a giant picture of Quincy Wilson running over half the NFL against Miami hanging by section 125. How is there not a picture of Owen Schmitt running away like a Natural Light truck against mighty Oklahoma by section 108? I need a picture of Tino Sunseri getting sacked by a whole mess of Mountaineers right outside section 123 like I need air to breathe. I’m serious guys, I need it.
Anyway, I think we are on the right track with all this. I will have other insights on the constant facility enhancement throughout the year. The Coliseum is undergoing a big one and a ton of other sports are also getting upgrades. It is very nice to see. I am very much looking forward to seeing the final product at Mountaineer Field this fall, at least on one side. This is the direction we are going. So do me a favor and if you hear somebody reference his friend of a friend of some guy that works in the athletic department that has confirmed we are building a new stadium, just punch them directly in the mouth. Thank you.
P.S. Remember when we used to play Pitt? That was pretty cool. We should do that again. Seems like it could be a decent little rivalry.