The Mountaineer Marching Band performs at every home football game, and occasionally at other sporting events throughout the year. It performs at high schools across the state, and other WVU events when requested.
The “Pride of West Virginia” has performed for more than 1 million people over the last 20 years, according to its website. That includes a performance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2016.
All of the success and notoriety the band has earned in its history has come without a facility on the WVU campus to truly call home.
That will change in the near future.
According to WVU Magazine, the Mountaineer Marching Band will soon have a new practice facility, aptly called the Pride Practice Facility. This new field and facility building will be built on the ground that once was the site of Hawley Field, the former home of the WVU baseball team.
“We are trying to move to a place where the marching surface is more similar to what we march on, on game days.” band director Scott C. Tobias told the magazine. “In this case, it’s going to be exact. It will be an artificial turf, just like we have in the stadium.”
According to the magazine, the project will be completed in two phases.
The first phase includes the installation of artificial turf, which will have many, if not all, of the on-field markings that fans see at Milan Puskar Stadium. According to renderings released on social media, that includes the same design in the end zones, and the Flying WV in the middle of the field.
The second phase will involve funding to construct a 3,000 to 4,000 square-foot building beside the field. This building, according to the magazine, will be climate-controlled, and have enough space to store instruments, uniforms, and other necessary equipment.
The Pride currently practices on the parking lot beside the WVU Coliseum. This has allowed the band to practice in all types of weather, though has other drawbacks.
Hawley Field was located in an area between the Coliseum, the WVU men’s soccer practice field, and Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
No date was listed for completion of either phase of the project.