Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation!
Today is a big day - the 6-0 Wildcat women's basketball team tips off at 18th-ranked Iowa at 2 p.m. (listen on the K-State Sports Network and online for FREE) and then by tonight the bowl line-up will be complete and approximately 8,000 student-athletes will get ready to experience the thrill of participating in college football's post-season!
Of course the Wildcat Nation got a head start when we announced this past Friday that we have accepted the invitation of the New York Yankees to represent the Big 12 Conference in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Syracuse from the Big East Conference. I would first like to congratulate Coach Snyder, our student-athletes and coaches for their hard work and determination that has resulted in K-State's first bowl appearance since 2006.
For our student-athletes, band and cheerleaders this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent Kansas State in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl and Yankee Stadium while experiencing one of the greatest cities in the world and most famous venues in all of sports. Our first goal as a program is a "world-class student-athlete experience" - I believe this one certainly qualifies.
And, it is an opportunity to put Kansas State University, the Purple Powercat, our No. 1 football graduation rate in the Big 12 and our 200,000 strong national alumni base right in the middle of the world's most influential media market. Did you know that we have over 3,000 alumni in the greater New York area and thousands more up and down the east coast?
As excited as our players are, I do understand that there are many hard working and loyal K-State fans right here in Kansas who may feel they cannot make this trip for various reasons. The travel logistics and expenses of this particular destination, like past bowl trips to California or Hawaii, are definitely more complicated than hopping in the car and heading south down I-35!
I am grateful that the Big 12's best alumni association has been hard at work putting together travel packages for various budget levels, including securing a block of $99 hotel rooms. The K-State Alumni Association will also provide official travel packages to New York, with or without charter air service. Visit their official bowl travel page - www.k-statesportstravel.com - for all travel package information.
One advantage of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl is that the tickets we have remaining in the official K-State block are in great locations. Those tickets begin at $100. We encourage you to purchase your tickets for the game through the K-State Athletics Department at the official online bowl headquarters - www.k-statesports.com/bowlgame. Beginning tomorrow, tickets may also be purchased via phone (1-800-221-CATS) or in person at the Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum through 5:30 p.m., Monday, December 13.
For our fans who cannot attend the game, ESPN will have the Iive telecast at 2:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, December 30, while Wyatt and Stan's radio broadcast can be heard across the entire K-State Sports Network and online for FREE world-wide at k-statesports.com.
Our early ticket sales and interest from the Wildcat Nation have been very encouraging! We are grateful for your support and look forward to taking the Little Apple to the Big Apple and painting New York City purple!