I am writing this letter on the (slightly delayed) AA 11:30 a.m. non-stop jet flight from MHK to DFW that will enable me to head over to American Airlines Center for our 6 p.m. first-round Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship game against the Jayhawks. The weather is perfect in Manhattan for today's home baseball opener at Tointon Stadium at 3 p.m. Just before departing I had the opportunity to tour the just completed first phase of the brand new MHK passenger terminal with airport director Peter Van Kuren who tells me that flights will be operating out of the new facility just in time for spring break travel next week. It is a big step forward for our community and will be a great first impression for incoming passengers.
Of course another huge step forward for K-State is the new Vanier Football Complex in the north end of Bill Snyder Family Stadium and early this morning MGEJ's Jeremy Niederwerder gave me my first tour inside the construction fences. The upgrades for our fans and student-athletes are already evident, and I cannot adequately describe how impressed I was with the progress. If you haven't seen the VFC site recently, it has really changed! The NEZ seating area is beginning to take shape and steelwork continues on the frame of the complex. I will tweet a few pictures later today - remember our live webcams are in operation. Click here and see the progress as it continues to be on track for an August completion!
Fundamental to achieving our goal of a World-Class Student-Athlete Experience is a dedicated corps of coaches, and we were ecstatic to see veteran Wildcat mentor Cliff Rovelto named as the 2015 Big 12 Women's Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year after leading K-State to a program-best second place finish in last week's indoor conference championship event. Making this award even more special is the fact that it is chosen by a vote of the league's head coaches.
I also salute equestrian coach Casie Maxwell whose charges upset No. 2 TCU and No. 1 Baylor in back-to-back contests last weekend. We wish all of our teams in action today and over the next week best of luck as we head into another very busy time for K-State Athletics.
A big Thank You is due as well to our fans as we had two great crowds for senior night basketball wins and also kicked of this week with record football season ticket sales including 4,958 tickets purchased on Monday, eclipsing last year's first-day record of 4,330, while 1,623 tickets ordered were new requests. We are on our way to extending our consecutive sellout streak to 27 games! It's obvious the K-State Nation is already fired up for the 2015 season - just 2,500 tickets remain for the April 25 spring football game at Sporting Park. Click here for ticket information for both the spring game and the 2015 season.
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.