Indeed - all working together - players, coaches, fans, students, staff, we can achieve our vision of having a model intercollegiate athletics program!
You have likely heard me mention that completing the 2010 football schedule has been a major priority since I arrived in June. Coach Snyder and I have worked together to build a scheduling philosophy that makes sense for K-State while also taking into account the significant scheduling pattern changes that have occurred nationally over the last five years.
Generally we have five primary goals in scheduling: 1) to have as many early-season home games as possible; 2) to have at least 11 FBS (formerly known as I-A) opponents each season; 3) attempt to include an open date during the regular season; 4) to create opportunities to provide further exposure for our program and University on a national level and in important K-State "markets" and, 5) have at least six home games, preferably seven, every season.
Of course, there are many factors we don't control such as the basic fact that game arrangements have to fit the goals (and availability) of the other institutions - sometimes even our own goals may conflict! This is coupled with the fact that "guarantees" for single home games (i.e., schools that we will only play in Manhattan) have spiraled out of control nationally over the last several years, in some cases exceeding $1 million per appearance.
With that said, we are very excited to announce our 2010 football slate which includes six home games at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, five of which are against teams coming off bowl appearances.
Our first six games will be in the state of Kansas and Kansas City, beginning September 4 when the eyes of the nation will be upon Manhattan as we welcome UCLA to Bill Snyder Family Stadium on opening weekend.
After hosting Missouri State on September 11, we'll kick off the Big 12 season in Arrowhead Stadium on September 18 against Iowa State. The Chiefs organization is a great partner and we appreciate its willingness along with the Royals to enable K-State to open the 15th Big 12 season, just as we did in the 1996 debut season of the league.
We were fortunate to recently secure a sixth home game for 2010 and are excited to welcome Central Florida of Conference USA to Manhattan on September 25. We'll return the game to UCF on September 22, 2012. Orlando is a great destination trip for Wildcat fans across the country with easy flight access as well from Kansas City, Manhattan and Wichita. Florida of course also represents an important recruiting area and features a strong local K-State alumni base as well.
Thanks to the cooperation of the Big 12 and our friends at ESPN, we will host Nebraska for a rematch of the 2009 Big 12 North title game on Thursday night October 7! ESPN's Thursday night broadcasts are consistently among the most-watched college football games of the year and offer tremendous exposure for the entire University and community.
This is also important competitively as we will essentially have two "open" dates - October 2 before the Nebraska game and then October 9, before our October 16 game at Kansas.
Following a trip to Baylor on October 23, we'll host Oklahoma State and Texas on back-to-back weekends October 30 and November 6 before closing the conference season with road trips to Missouri and Colorado on November 13 and 20, respectively.
Our regular season will conclude with a road trip to the Dallas metroplex to visit North Texas on Saturday, November 27. This provides a great opportunity for our K-State students from Texas and alumni to cap off their Thanksgiving weekend with their own "home game!" As previously scheduled, UNT will return to Bill Snyder Family Stadium September 15, 2012.
We are excited about the future of K-State football and will continue to work to schedule games that make sense for Kansas State University, our football program and our fans.
Announcing our schedule as early as possible is another element of achieving our goal of having the best fan experience in the Big 12. Please start making your plans to be in Manhattan now. Having a sold-out Bill Snyder Family Stadium makes a statement to all of college football.
We will again offer varied ticket plans to provide accessibility to all K-State fans. Even with this tremendous upgrade to the slate of home opponents, our standard season-ticket price will remain the same for 2010, just $300 for a full-season ticket or $330 for a chairback seat. Minimum Ahearn Fund priority seating contributions will also remain unchanged from 2009.
More information will be available next week regarding all season- and single-game options and promotions. If you are not already a season-ticket holder, please click here to sign up for early notification of all available tickets and packages.
Thanks for your continued support of K-State student-athletes. Make plans today to be back in Bill Snyder Family Stadium in 2010!