Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

August 29, 2013

City officials prepare for tailgating fun

BLUEFIELD — City officials are already preparing for tailgaters to converge on Mitchell Stadium for Friday’s Beaver-Graham game.

City Manager Jim Ferguson said the game brings in thousands of visitors to both Bluefields each year.

“It’s a big event and an annual tradition,” he said. “We are proud to have it here. The stadium seats 10,000 and we usually have overflow activities outside the stadium. People travel hundreds of miles for reunions, fellowship and to have a great weekend in Bluefield.”

Ferguson said a special tailgating area has been set up for fans on the east end parking lot in front of Mitchell Stadium.

“There will be a set area between the road leading up to the middle school and the rescue squad building,” Ferguson said. “The Cole Chevy Fan Zone will be setting up to show fans where the tailgating area starts. We are expecting people to start setting up early. The area will be first come, first serve.”

Part of the tailgating area is the returning Cole Chevy Fan Zone, which Bluefield Mayor Tom Cole began sponsoring before being elected to the post this year. The fan zone will include restroom facilities and entertainment beginning at 3 p.m. with performances by Matt Deal, DJ Retro Leggett and Pieces of One.

 The fan zone be open to all fans and closed to traffic and vehicles to provide a safe area for the yearly celebrations, reunions, cookouts and popular parking lot games such as “corn hole.”  Handicapped parking has been expanded on the east end of the parking lot for improved access for game attendees. Fans that plan to bring a recreational vehicle, trailer, tent or grill should make plans to set up in the designated area.

Additionally, Ferguson said the Bluefield Police Department will be working to make sure fans stay safe.

“The city of Bluefield expects everyone to be respectful and courteous,” Ferguson said. “Anyone who exhibits inappropriate behavior will be dealt with. The police department will be patrolling the area before, during and after the game. No alcohol is permitted on the property. Anyone found with alcohol, in possession of alcohol, inebriated or engaging in any illegal act will be dealt with swiftly and professionally.”

Above all, Ferguson said the goal is for those participating in the game and tailgating to have a good time.

“We want everyone to have a safe, good time,” he said. “This is a yearly tradition and we want people to enjoy it. This is a great time for the two Bluefields to come together, make some wonderful memories, have good food and enjoy some football.”

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com

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