MORGANTOWN - Oliver Luck is, in addition to West Virginia University's athletic director, a magician.
The man put in charge of sports at the school not quite a year ago is going to take the hardly harmonious environment at Mountaineer Field, introduce beer sales and wave a wand to not only generate several hundred thousand dollars in revenue, but also improve fan behavior and overall safety inside the stadium.
"It is a little counterintuitive," he admitted.
And yet, it makes perfect sense. No need for slight of hand or the work of an illusionist. This can actually work and by Luck's design it will.
Beer sales are just a part of the plan unveiled at a Board of Governors meeting last week. WVU seeks to move smoking, which was already prohibited in seating areas, out of the concourse and away from a few rows and noses of patrons who have grown tired of the aroma.
Smokers will be welcome in their own area away from the population, but still inside the stadium.
That matters because the second part of the plan eliminated WVU's rare re-entry policy.
No longer will fans be able to leave the stadium at halftime or for a bathroom break and to return to their seats.
The regular exodus from the stadium, either for a brief time or for the remainder of the game, struck Luck from the beginning of his time overseeing athletics.
"I've been around a lot of stadiums and a lot of different crowds - college, professional, different sports - and the one thing that surprised me was the number of people who left at halftime," Luck said. "It was shocking. In some cases, there were tens of thousands of people leaving at halftime and a lot of those folks were not coming back."
One major motivation for the parade back to the parking lot was because that's where the beer could be found.
If the board approves the beer sales - WVU doesn't need approval for its smoking and re-entry practices - then there's motivation in the stadium, from where fans cannot leave and return.
In summary, the presence of beer inside the stadium might cool off some aggressive tailgating and curb the associated behavior.
The presence of beer inside the stadium will send the fans who once left the stadium to crush a few cold ones in the parting lot into a line instead to buy a few.
And since these beers are going to cost $7 or so a pop, not quite as many will be consumed before the sales are cut off sometime in the third quarter. People are then a little calmer and a little safer.
The wildly outnumbered stadium security is also free from dealing with the rush of people leaving unarmed before halftime and returning six-packed for action for the second half.
"Based on our discussion with public safety folks not only in Morgantown, but at other Big East facilities that have been serving beer for years, the main premise is that control is good," Luck said.
"From our perspective, with eliminating the pass-out policy and offering beer sales to people who are of legal age and 21 and older, we're controlling alcohol consumption.