New Showcase Stage for Marching Band Announced
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Pride of Wildcat Land Marching Band will have a new enhanced permanent home inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium as part of Phase IIIB of the stadium’s Master Plan, Athletics Director John Currie, Director of Bands Dr. Frank Tracz and student government leadership have announced.
The 400-plus member group will occupy a specially designed and one-of-a-kind area below the concourse walkway similar in positioning to the new Wabash Landing in the northwest corner. With design guidance from Tracz beginning last spring, this unique section will not only provide more space and accessibility to accommodate members of the 2015 Sudler Trophy winning band but will also dramatically increase visibility and sound projection of the marching band for the better enjoyment of K-State fans throughout Bill Snyder Family Stadium in keeping with the department’s commitment to The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for The Pride of Wildcat Land Marching Band to have our very own showcase stage in Bill Snyder Family Stadium,” said Tracz. “Not only will we be seen and heard by areas of the stadium that previously could not enjoy our music, this new area will also increase much-needed storage space for our game day equipment and improve the overall safety of our band members and instruments with a dedicated stairway to the field. Most importantly, the new section maintains our important connection to the students, continuing to create an intimidating environment for the visiting team.”
Student Body President Andy Hurtig echoed Tracz’s comments and believes the new location will be beneficial to all Wildcat fans, including the best student section in the country.
"This was a collaborative process between SGA and the Marching Band, under Dr. Tracz’s leadership, that we feel is mutually beneficial for all Wildcat fans attending Bill Snyder Family Stadium,” said Hurtig. “As we think about providing the Best Fan Experience in the Big 12, and specifically the best experience for our loyal students, we believe this achieves a number of improvements to our gameday environment including a drastically improved space that will be custom suited for the band that matches its national acclaim. It will also provide enhanced seating for our General Admission student patrons in section 26, as they will be able to fill in closer to the field in the spots vacated by the marching band while also providing all fans an improved listening experience as an amphitheater effect will improve sound projection throughout the stadium. All things considered, we are excited by the collaborative nature of this decision, the mutual benefit that we see for all Wildcat fans, and the long term vision for K-State Football."
Fundraising momentum continues for funding of Phase IIIB as Currie also announced today that more than $10 million of the estimated $15 million cost has been pledged to the project. When finished, Phase IIIB will complete the northeast corner of the stadium as envisioned in the 2010 Master Plan and provide K-State fans with a fully enclosed stadium bowl as well as other spectator and operational enhancements.
Continuing K-State Athletics’ commitment to fiscal responsibility, the department will again depend on individual donors throughout Wildcat Nation to help reach the $15 million goal and enable construction to begin in December after the conclusion of the 2015 football season with desired completion in time for the 2016 season. The entire project will be funded without incurring any long-term debt and without any state tax or university funds.
The project, led by the world-renowned sports design firm Populous in conjunction with the construction management team of Mortenson and GE Johnson Construction, will connect the east side of the stadium to the new north side to create a 360-degree concourse and fully enclose Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The department will also take another step toward its goal of providing The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12 with a new videoboard on the northeast corner that will mirror the new system recently erected on the northwest corner of the stadium.
It will also include permanent new visiting team locker, training and officials areas, which will move from their current temporary location inside the Vanier Family Football Complex, and open up the mezzanine above the Strength and Performance area providing more usable space for K-State student-athletes. In addition, the Section 1 seating area will also be re-constructed to connect to the new north end zone concourse and Wabash Landing area, adding additional seating to the section.
“We are extremely thankful for the generosity of our leadership donors and hopeful that the K-State Nation will continue to respond to place us in a position to move forward with Phase IIIB in a fiscally responsible manner after the final home game against West Virginia,” said Currie. “We are also extremely excited about the new permanent home for Dr. Tracz and the reigning Sudler Trophy recipients. This new space will not only benefit the 400-plus members of the marching band but also will enhance the overall experience for all 50,000-plus fans in attendance.”
To assist with making Phase IIIB a reality and view the latest photo renderings fans are encouraged visit the new giving site on the department’s facility master plan website at www.k-statesports.com/masterplan.