CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mountaineer fans don't have to travel all the way to Orlando, Fla., to enjoy the Champs Sports Bowl.
Some local establishments will throw bowl parties right here in the capital city.
For the sixth straight year, the Charleston Civic Center will have a bowl party, General Manager John Robertson said. Admission is free and doors will open at 5 p.m., he said.
The event will be in the Civic Center's Grand Hall.
"We'll be setting up two huge big-screen TVs in the Grand Hall, and we'll have several other big-screen TVs set up in various spots around the room," Robertson said.
The two biggest screens will measure 11 feet by 14 feet, he said.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Although alcoholic beverages will be available, Robertson was quick to point out the event is for all members of the family.
"We have a lot of people come in and bring their children," he said. "The atmosphere here isn't what people would experience in a bar."
Door prizes will be awarded, and the grand prize has been dubbed the "Best Seats in the House," Robertson said.
Two lounge chairs provided by Pugh Furniture will be given away during the evening.
The winner and a friend will be allowed to sit in the chairs to watch the game. Then they get to take the chairs home, Robertson said.
Robertson said Civic Center staff decided to have bowl game parties because some fans don't have the time or the money to travel to distant locations.
"But people still want to interact with other fans and enjoy the camaraderie," Robertson said. "There's a lot of enthusiasm for WVU football in this area."
The bowl party has been dubbed "West Virginia's Largest Tailgate," he said.
Robertson said he is surprised at how many people turn out for such events. In past years 600 to 1,000 people have come to the Civic Center to root for the Mountaineers.