West Virginia’s athletic department just broke the news that Saturday’s 2018 Gold-Blue Spring Game has been cancelled, and will not be rescheduled.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Due to impending wintry weather being forecast for the Morgantown area on Saturday, April 7, the 2018 Gold-Blue Spring Football Game has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
Tickets sold to fans in advance of the spring game will be automatically refunded by the Mountaineer Ticket Office if paid by credit card or check. Fans who paid cash should contact the Mountaineer Ticket Office at 1-800-WVU GAME to initiate their refund process.
”Fan and player safety have to take priority. When you have snow predicted for much of the state on Saturday, we need to take the utmost caution to assure the safety of our student-athletes, while also avoiding elements that are problematic for our fans,” Director of Athletics Shane Lyons said. “You would expect to not have to worry about snow accumulation in April, but that’s the forecast. After much consideration, we made this decision for the safety of all involved.”
We should probably consider this a blessing is disguise, after the recent rash of injuries and departures from the WVU football program. The Mountaineers’ defensive depth is already paper thin and - while it’s not being said publicly - I’d almost guarantee Dana Holgorsen jumped at the opportunity to cancel the scrimmage to avoid risking further injuries.
The cancellation isn’t really that big of a deal, outside of the fact that WVU Medicine Children’s is going to lose out on the money from ticket sales. The Mountaineers have never been able to draw anywhere near the crowd that other major programs regularly draw for their Spring games. West Virginia announced last April that 6,415 people were in attendance for the 2017 Gold-Blue Game. In comparison to that, Kansas State and Texas Tech both doubled the figure. Virginia Tech claimed an attendance of 16,025, Iowa State drew 15,000 fans and Pittsburgh “allegedly” drew 7,076.
Until West Virginia figures out a way to get fans more excited about a Spring scrimmage, I think I’d be okay with just cancelling the Gold-Blue Game every year. The risk far outweighs the reward, especially in years like this one when nothing seems to be going right. Have a Spring fan day with appearances by some of the former players instead. There’s a good chance you’d draw about the same number of people as an actual Spring scrimmage.