Sales Up, Misbehavior Down at WVU Football Games

Paul Steinbach Headshot

The West Virginia University Board of Governors was presented a report Friday that the athletic department's goal of controlling fan misbehavior at football games with specific policy changes implemented before last season was, in fact, realized.

Most controversial among the changes was the introduction of beer sales inside Milan-Puskar Stadium. And while beer sales of $520,000 were half of what WVU athletic director Oliver Luck thought possible, overall concessions sales were $1.26 million, up 84 percent over the 2010 season, according to an Associated Press report. Non-alcoholic beverages outsold alcoholic beverages at every game but one - a game against Louisiana State - and food sales alone increased 60 percent for the season.

More important, arrests were down significantly, most likely a reflection of Luck's decision to eliminate a longstanding pass-out policy that allowed fans to leave the stadium at halftime and re-enter all the more intoxicated and rowdy. WVU police chief Bob Roberts, who witnessed positive trends at games in Morgantown emerging as early as last October, pointed to an unrelated game last season between LSU and Alabama that led to 149 arrests, telling the AP, "There were more arrests during that game than we had during the season," and calling 2011 "probably the best season I've ever worked."

The WVU report, assembled with the help of industrial engineering student Richard Woody, also included a fan-satisfaction survey. Woody's staff surveyed about 25 percent of football season-ticket holders after games against Louisville and Connecticut, finding that roughly 78 percent described their stadium experience as enjoyable.

"I want to congratulate our vendors, stadium security and city, state and university police for working with us to make game days safer and more enjoyable," Luck stated at Friday's BOG meeting, as reported by The Daily Atheneaum student newspaper. "From concessionaire training to improved security checks, everyone took this initiative very seriously and our overall goal to improve the fan experience was realized. We will continue these measures as well as our diligence around the controlled sale of beer at the stadium."

Page 1 of 292
Next Page
AB Show 2024 in New Orleans
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Nov. 19-22, 2024
Learn More
AB Show 2024
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide