Mountaineer fans can support this years Big East Championship team and get connected to the West Virginia University experience well before the kickoff of the Jan. 2 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game in Glendale, Ariz.

The University has created WVU BowlSpace, an online, interactive community at The site combines blogs, message boards, videos, MSN programming and a one-stop source for the latest bowl information.

WVU fans from around the world are invited to support our team by becoming part of this online community to show their Mountaineer pride, WVU President Mike Garrison said.

WVU BowlSpace is an interactive site for WVU fans to talk about why they are proud to be Mountaineers, show their support by sending the team a message, watch videos and more.

Whether fans are going to the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona or watching at home, they can gather at BowlSpace to get updated bowl information, video highlights from this season and past bowl trips, daily reports in Phoenix from students and alumni and access to a special WVU Facebook group,Proud to Be a Mountaineer,which allows fans to share photos and messages.

They can also check out what student-athletes (including Alex Ruoff, mens basketball; Tito Gonzales, football; and Ashley Banks, womens soccer) have to say about life experiences off the playing field, share alumni stories about cominghometo WVU and learn the latest about the WVU -Oklahoma matchup.

We wanted to create a place where WVU s community of fans could go to build a personal connection with the team and the University,Vice President for University Advancement and Marketing Chris Martin said.Online social networking is a powerful tool in building conversation and dialogue with students, alumni, employees, friends, fans, donors and the entire Mountaineer nation.

It has never been more important to support our teamthe fine student-athletes who have worked so hard this year and achieved such success. Every fan, even those who cant travel to the game, can share support and express pride through WVU BowlSpace.

Updates on Alumni Association travel packages, fan activities and bowl tickets have been added to the site, along with student, alumni and band reports from bloggers Kathryn Gregory, a senior news-editorial major from Somers, N.Y.; Steve Douglas, president and chief executive officer of the WVU Alumni Association; and Chris Southard, the Web site manager and official photographer ofThe Pride of West VirginiaMountaineer Marching Band.

Gregory, who has already logged a few blog entries, is excited about sharing her bowl trip from a students point of view.

I think its important, especially for students who cant attend, to experience the game and fan activities from a student perspective,she said.Ill be blogging at least twice a day from Arizona.

One of those fan activities is Tostitos Fiesta BowlsWorlds Biggest Football PartyWednesday, Jan. 2, at the Glendale Youth Sports Complex at University of Phoenix Stadium. The event includes a pep rally featuringThe Pride of West Virginia, WVU cheerleaders and Mountaineer mascot.

Southard, who frequently travels with the band, has provided blogs for the past two bowl games and says theyre a popular way to connect Mountaineer fans with the University experience.

No WVU bowl appearance would be complete without the marching band,he said.So, for those who arent traveling to Glendale, we want to bring �€~The Prideto you.

Southard plans to record highlights from all of the bands rehearsals and performances, and all of WVU s bloggers will combine elements such as video segments and still photos with their daily written reports.

WVU BowlSpace was developed by University Advancement and Marketing in cooperation with the Department of Athletics, the Alumni Association, Events and Ceremonies and others. Adam Glenn, a professional technologist at WVU Web Services, designed the site.