Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium

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For the original stadium bearing the name, see Mountaineer Field (1924).
Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium
WVU Opening Game Mountaineer Field.jpg
Location 900 Willowdale Road
Morgantown, West Virginia 26505
Coordinates 39°39′1″N 79°57′17″W / 39.65028°N 79.95472°W / 39.65028; -79.95472Coordinates: 39°39′1″N 79°57′17″W / 39.65028°N 79.95472°W / 39.65028; -79.95472
Broke ground May 3, 1979[1]
Opened September 6, 1980
Renovated 2004, 2007
Expanded 1985, 1986
Owner West Virginia University
Operator West Virginia University
Surface FieldTurf
Construction cost $22 million
($63 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Architect Finch-Heery[3]
HOK Sport (renovations)
General contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichols[4]
Capacity 60,000 (2004-present)[4]
63,500 (1986-2003)
57,500 (1985)
50,000 (1980-1984)
Record attendance 70,222[5] (November 20, 1993)
Tenants
West Virginia Mountaineers (NCAA) (1980–present)
Exterior, Summer 2007

Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium (commonly known as Mountaineer Field) is the football stadium for the West Virginia Mountaineers NCAA Division I FBS football team. The stadium is located in Morgantown, West Virginia, on the health sciences campus of West Virginia University.

The seating area of the facility was renamed "Milan Puskar Stadium" in 2004 after a $20 million donation to the university by Morgantown resident and founder of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Milan Puskar.

History[edit]

The original Mountaineer Field was located on the school's downtown campus, but it could not be expanded or modernized due to the proximity of campus buildings and roads near the stadium. It seated 38,000 when it was last used in 1979. The new stadium was originally to be called Mountaineer Stadium, but the fans ignored this and called it New Mountaineer Field, with the "new" eventually falling into disuse. Mountaineer Field was constructed in 1980 on the former site of a golf course between the Law School and Medical School buildings. The stadium's original cost was $22 million. Upon completion it had a seating capacity of 50,000. The stadium was expanded in 1985 with 7,500 seats added to the south end zone for $7.5 million. In 1986, 6,000 seats were added to the north end zone for $650,000. In 2004 the existing north end zone seats were removed, and luxury suites were added at a cost of $13 million.[6] The most recent expansion actually reduced the seating capacity by 3,500, so the official current capacity is 60,000. With the game day capacity of 60,000, Mountaineer Field "becomes" the largest city in West Virginia when home games are played. In summer of 2007 approximately 500 seats were added in the corners of the north end zone and above the weight room in the south end zone. There are five banks of lights located on the perimeter of the stadium and one long bank along the top of the press box. The field surface was replaced in the summer of 2007, as the 5 year old playing surface was beginning to show signs of wear. The company that installed the 5 year old surface went out of business and was not available to maintain the worn surface. There are 12 luxury seats on the first level of the press box, 18 in the north end zone, and 648 club seats in the north end zone called "Touchdown Terrace".

Attendance[edit]

Mountaineer Field has occasionally hosted larger crowds than its listed capacity; the current attendance record was set on November 20, 1993 when 70,222 fans packed the stadium to watch the #9 ranked Mountaineers defeat #4 Miami.

Largest Crowds[edit]

Rank Attendance Date Game result
1 70,222 Nov. 20, 1993 #9 West Virginia 17, #4 Miami 14
2 68,938 Sept 30, 1989 #9 West Virginia 31, #10 Pitt 31
3 68,409 Sept 5, 1998 #11 West Virginia 17, #1 Ohio State 34
4 68,041 Aug 31, 1991 West Virginia 3, Pitt 34
5 67,715 Nov 15, 2003 West Virginia 52, #16 Pitt 31
6 66,948 Oct 26, 1996 #12 West Virginia 7, #25 Miami 10
7 66,811 Oct 29, 1988 #7 West Virginia 51, Penn State 30
8 66,663 Oct 24, 1992 West Virginia 26, #14 Penn State 40
9 66,461 Nov 3, 1990 West Virginia 19, #24 Penn State 31
10 66,015 Sept 16, 1989 #12 West Virginia 45, South Carolina 21

Non–collegiate use[edit]

Football[edit]

Mountaineer Field has also hosted non-university football games in the past. One notable game was a pre-season game on August 22, 1998 between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons, both National Football League teams. Old Mountaineer Field had also hosted an NFL game in 1968 between the Steelers and the expansion Cincinnati Bengals. Morgantown's two public high schools, Morgantown and University, used to share a stadium and play their annual rivalry game at Mountaineer Field. With the opening of University's new field in 2008 the game has been moved to rotating a series between the two schools. The stadium also hosted the 1988 WV high school football championships.

Concerts[edit]

When Mountaineer Field was dedicated on September 6, 1980, which also marked the first game for head coach Don Nehlen, fans were surprised when singer John Denver made an appearance and led the fans in the singing of his hit song "Take Me Home, Country Roads".[7] The song has been played at every Mountaineers home game since 1972. In recent years, the song has been the subject of a new tradition; after a Mountaineers win, the players lead the crowd in singing the song.

The Stadium has also played host to regional Drum Corps International and Bands of America events, as well as many local high school band festivals.

State native Brad Paisley is in talks to hold a concert at the stadium. It would be the first such event held at the stadium.[8]

Renovations[edit]

Panoramic view inside of Mountaineer Field
Mountaineer Field's updated scoreboard, installed in 2008

Going into the 2007 football season, the stadium turf was changed from the AstroPlay surface installed in 2002 to the more popular FieldTurf surface. The cost was estimated to be near $1 million. The turf was ready in time for the fall 2007 season, even after the endzone sections had to be replaced because they were the incorrect shade of blue (too light).

Along with the new turf, additions to the touchdown terrace on the north end zone are being made. Constructions to completely enclose the terrace and add 180 more seats was finished before the start of the season.

During the summer of 2008, the WVU Foundation partnered with Panasonic to install a new video scoreboard at the stadium. The scoreboard has a screen three times wider than the previous one and features a higher resolution. Additionally, a 306 ft fascia LED panel runs the length of each sideline.

Locker room renovations were done prior to the 2013 season. Additional improvements were announced in the spring of 2014, including a new team meeting room, improved stadium concourse, and renovated concessions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jay to Take Part in MU Groundbreaking". Williamson Daily News. May 5, 1979. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ Henry Teague Designed Innovative Stadiums
  4. ^ a b "2013 West Virginia University Mountaineers Football Media Guide". West Virginia University Athletics. p. 35. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ Home Attendance
  6. ^ Bogaczyk, Jack (August 21, 2008). "WVU considers adding suites to Puskar Stadium". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 
  7. ^ John Denver at Mountaineer Field
  8. ^ Rivard, Ry (July 20, 2011). "State Fire Marshal Wary of WVU Event Plans". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 

External links[edit]

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