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Letter from A.D. John Currie - August 29

Good Evening K-State Fans!

The clock is ticking down towards a historic day as we prepare for tomorrow morning's 11 a.m. West Stadium Center dedication, our fifth annual K-State Family Reunion and the 7:30 p.m. kick-off of the 2013 season!
 
This morning workers set up a huge stage and video screens outside the main stadium entrance in preparation for the dedication celebration which will include special video presentations and comments from Governor Sam Brownback, President Kirk Schulz and Head Coach Bill Snyder, among others. If you cannot make it to the event, tune into K-StateHD.tv for live coverage, and click here for our full release on the dedication ceremony. Parking in the stadium's west lot opens at 9 a.m. for the event and is free. The ceremony will conclude with a very, very special tribute to Coach Snyder and the entire family - you won't want to miss it!
 
The sold-out matchup between the Wildcats and Bison, which will be broadcast nationally to 90 million households on the new FOX Sports 1 with Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington and Ryan Nece on the call, will cap an exciting day at the stadium. I had the opportunity to catch up with the broadcast team earlier this afternoon - Craig is a 1981 K-State graduate, and we are proud to have him back in town as we help kick off FOX Sports 1's inaugural season. The crew raved about the new broadcast position and its modern amenities and features.
 
Words simply don't do justice to how grateful we all are for the collective efforts of literally thousands of people who worked together to make this facility a reality. This project would not have been possible without the incredible support of fans and the tireless efforts of our architects, AECOM/Heery, construction managers Mortenson/GE Johnson as well as our staff. Over 750,000 hours of labor and craftsmanship have gone into this project. And, when I saw the expressions on the faces of our football student-athletes on Saturday when they walked through the new "Performance Table" dining center, I was reminded again what college athletics is all about!

When the nation tunes in on FOX Sports 1 Friday night, viewers will see a sold-out stadium that may yet break our record opening game crowd set against UCLA in 2011, 9,000 students in the best seats in the stadium and all the energy and passion for which the K-State Nation is known.

Earlier today I had the opportunity to take 35 or so members of our local and regional media on tour of the new facility and show them some of the WSC features and amenities that will provide a transformational effect on our fans, student-athletes, teams and university community.

The 215,000-square foot facility is the centerpiece of Phase II of the six-phase Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan.  In addition to the original program scope of the WSC - which includes the beautiful new student-athlete performance dining center and new fan amenities such as 200 percent more restrooms and concession service points, covered ADA seating, a wide fan concourse featuring the history of all K-State teams as well as The K-State Super Store at the Stadium - the support of K-State fans and donors worldwide enabled us to expand Phase II to include a total of $90 million invested in Bill Snyder Family Stadium in the past 16 months. 
 
Among the additional enhancements are:
New field lighting mounted on new structural standards atop the east side, which will improve the viewing experience of fans both in the stadium and on television, as well as new parking lot lighting to enhance the area's safety and security.
Dramatic new graphics and signage throughout the facility, including a beautiful hall of honor.
Modern food service equipment throughout the entire facility.
A new K-StateHD.TV high definition production and video board control studio.
Expansion and reconfiguration of the south concourse to include a family-friendly picnic area.
And, K-State's role as the state university of Kansas is symbolized with the names of each of the Sunflower State's 105 counties etched into large pavers stretching from north to south on the west plaza of the building.

In keeping with the K-State Pledge for fiscal responsibility, the entire project is being funded through a combination of private construction gifts, premium seat contributions from Ahearn Fund members and athletics department revenue.  As with all ongoing K-State Athletics projects no state tax dollars or university tuition revenue are being used.  KSA has gained national recognition for fiscal responsibility as one of 23 programs nationally to generate enough revenue on its own to cover expenses.
 
Construction on the new West Stadium Center commenced following a ceremonial groundbreaking on April 28, 2012.  Architects AECOM, Heery and construction managers Mortensen/GE Johnson teamed up to deliver a world-class facility on time and just eight months after the demolition of the former press box structure.
 
The stadium's grand limestone exterior, drawing inspiration from the existing campus architecture, provides a signature image for K-State Athletics and Kansas State University.

As with any new facility our staff has been learning the operational nuances and going through a "punch list" process. We appreciate your patience and ask you to let us know what you think and of any questions or concerns you may have.

The season is upon us - let's get started!

Go Cats!

John