Creating a fun, safe, positive environment for Mountaineer fans and visitors before, during and after the WVU -Virginia Tech game remains the goal of City and University officials, as the final scheduled meeting between the two state rivals gets set to kick off at noon Saturday (Oct. 1).

Following a meeting Monday, Police Chief Phil Scott, Fire Chief Dave Fetty, Campus Police Chief Bob Roberts, State Police 1 st Sgt. Chuck Porter, City Manager Dan Boroff and other officials issued this joint statement:

For the safety and enjoyment of all fans, we will be stepping up security and enforcement measures Saturdaynot only in the stands, but in the surrounding lots and student-populated areas of the City.

Our message remains unified, consistent and clear: There will be no tolerance for illegal behavior, including rushing the playing field, throwing objects onto the field or possessing alcohol beverages at the stadium. Further, any post-game actions involving illegal burnings, destruction of property, charging entry to a house party, underage drinking and other unlawful acts will also be punishable by law.

If all fans are mindful of their behavior, then a hard-fought college football game will be the outcome, not any inappropriate conduct or irresponsible behavior.

We are confident this is what our fans prefer, and this is the outcome we expect.

Just the Facts

Officials are reminding fans that arrests and citations for unlawful behavior are punishable by fines and jail time, and University students could face further disciplinary sanctions, including expulsion and the revocation of athletic privileges. Offenders will also be processed and taken directly to the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County.

To help rid student-populated housing areas of debris and furniture, Boroff said city workers will empty dumpsters prior to Saturdays game.

In addition, Fetty said fire officials will issue abatement orders to residents in the Sunnyside neighborhood with flammable items and debris in yards or on porches. Occupants who do not remove these items by Friday morning can be cited and fined up to $1,000 for failure to abate a fire hazard.

Student Affairs staff will also go door-to-door on Grant Avenue and neighboring streets this week with packets of information encouraging responsible behavior and outlining possible consequences students will face if cited for illegal activities.

In addition, Scott said parking will be restricted on Grant Avenue from 7 a.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday. Signs will be posted and public notices issued.

In keeping with past practice, stadium goalposts will be lowered immediately following the game, and there will be increased security in the stadium and on the playing field, athletic officials said.

Fans are also encouraged to come to the game early to avoid bottlenecks at the gates, particularly in the student sections on the east side, where wristbands are required for the lower level. Gates open at 10:30 a.m.; have Mountaineer ID card and ticket ready before arriving at the gate.

Once inside the stadium, fans are reminded not to block aisles, entranceways and railing areasand to avoid profanity and obscenities. Those who do not follow the rules will be asked to move or be removed from the game.

For students unable to attend the game, the Mountainlair Ballrooms, Side Pocket and games area will have big-screen televisions and plenty of good seats. Dining Services will provide free popcorn and soda from 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and food court vendors will be open on the first floor.

After the game, the Mountainlair will remain open for students for expanded WVUp All Night activities, including movies, laser tag, live entertainment, bowling, billiards and a free breakfast bar at midnight.

Vice President for Student Affairs Ken Gray recently thanked WVU student fans for a great football season to date.

The students truly have been the 12th man, cheering our team on to a 4-0 start,Gray said.As we approach this exciting game against No. 3-ranked Virginia Tech, I want our student body to remain focused, proud and respectful. Lets allow the spotlight to shine on the team and avoid any type of activity that might mar a great game or possible victory.

WVU News and Information Services Director Becky Lofstead added,We hope fans will come and enjoy the gamebe spirited and have fun, but be courteous and respectful to others and abide by all stadium policies and city laws.

Officials note the game is a sellout.