That is the word I can best describe the new concourse expansion at Mountaineer Field. I even waited a couple days to fully make a proper conclusion. With the Monongalia County Ballpark being built very cheaply and not well done, it should come as no surprise that this project was also not very well thought out. As far as we all know, some expert engineers and design firms were commissioned to make sure this would alleviate some of the problems of the dated concourses and entrance points(which never have seemed like a problem to me).
The gates were a mess. Even an hour before the game, the liens were twice as long as I have ever seen. And when you add and enhance all the entry ways, how can that be? Well, for one reason, scanners. The scanners and people operating them were equally ineffective. The scanners weren’t working well in the sun, and the event staffers were clueless on how to fix that problem. There were multiple gates without trash cans set up outside them. Where are people supposed to throw their beers before entering? The ground obviously. If the scanners have a difficult time in the sun, there are only three options…
Build awnings at each entry point, find scanners that actually work, or go back to ripping tickets. This needs figured out.
I sit on the West side of the stadium where the renovations have not been completed. I did not experience any excess difficulty walking around. It was just a typical game. Sure the beer lines and concessions were crowded, but its hot and people like beer, so this came as no surprise. Halfway through the 2nd quarter, I decided to make a trip around to the East side to see what the new concourses were like. What a debacle.
The main purpose of the new concession wings at the corners was meant to push people out of the walking concourse areas. Fail. The concourse was tighter than before and it squeezed everyone into a super small space trying to get around. Pair that with the beer stands angling their lines into crossing traffic and the middle concession kiosks next to the pillars angling their lines across traffic too. What do you get? Lines everywhere making it impossible to move. Seriously. We stayed in one spot for about 2 minutes until one person decided to shove someone over to get moving again. How can that be possible that a new layout be straight up gridlock at a time in the game that most people should be in their seats? Unbelievable to me.
Then that gets us to the reason for the outrageously long lines…
The understaffing at all the stands was extremely apparent. Its like they were caught off guard that there might be 60,000 people at the stadium on Saturday. The amount of complaints and bitching I heard at the stadium, on social media, and on the message boards should be very very disturbing to WVU. I know it is not WVU’s fault that the people in charge of the concessions either were not skilled enough to handle their job or they just flat out didn’t have enough people helping. Both reasons are unacceptable. Whoever is to blame needs to fix this problem, and now.
There are my thoughts. And it isn’t just searching for reasons to complain. These were major issues with a building that has to contain 60,000 people 7 times a year. And when you spend the amount of money that they did on making a better experience for the fans, and then you fail miserably, that is not good. And it is just pushing people to stay home and watch the game on their couch.