From the sidelines
Fans loved the idea of renewed the old rivalry between Virginia Tech and West Virginia. On the field, everything was great. Off the field was a whole different story.
People from both sides were stuck in traffic for nearly three hours, and I’m not talking about the beltway. We’re talking about the roads leading into the stadium.
Not only were fans stuck, so were several members of the Hokie athletic administrative staff.
In a news release from Virginia Tech, Associate Athletic Director Pete Moris said that despite the urging of both Virginia Tech and West Virginia in the months leading up to the game, the stadium owners/operators declined the request of both schools to open parking lots to fans earlier.
“Both schools communicated their concerns based on the experience of many West Virginia fans at their game last year at FedEx Field vs. BYU. While it does not change your experience, please know that many of our coaches from other sports and VT staff members were stuck in traffic and expressed similar concerns about missing the start of the game,” he said.
“Going forward, should Virginia Tech participate in a neutral site game, we will continue to make every effort to address these concerns in the game contract, so fans of both teams aren’t caught in a similar situation. Simply, we were disappointed and never want it to happen again. We appreciate your support of the Hokies and apologize that more could not be done in advance to change the situation.”
The tone was similar from West Virginia officials. WVU athletics director Shane Lyons who said the Mountaineers would reconsider playing at neutral sites in the future. If they do, Lyons said the school would have the opening times of parking lots be included in the contract before signing.
Parking lots at Dan Snyder’s stadium did not open until 3:30 p.m. College football fans have come to expect to be able to start college football tailgating early in the morning, thus causing a lot of upset Hokie and Mountaineer fans who finally found something to share—anger against the staff at FedEx.
Should college football teams play at FedEx again? I say nope. The Hokies defeated the Mountaineers on the field, but both sides lost when it came to the “fan experience.”
Friday night’s Blacksburg High School game at Richlands is part of “touchdowns for cancer,” a national program created in partnership between MaxPreps, Pledge It and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, this first-of-its-kind high school football program unifies communities across the country for a common cause: defeating childhood cancer. Fans can pledge a donation every touchdown scored during the ball game.