A $2.5 million renovation greeted fans to Bramlage Coliseum for the 2000-01 basketball season. In cooperation with Action Sports Media of Portland, Ore., the home of the Kansas State men's and women's basketball teams has had additions both to the seating area and the concourse, designed to make the building more fan-friendly.
Inside the arena, fans enjoy a new four-sided scoreboard above the arena, complete with video panels on all four sides. The renovations include a new sound system, three-sided shot clocks and matrix boards added to the top of the Coliseum.
On the concourse fans will see four trophy cases highlighting historical moments in K-State athletics, as well as 98 plaques depicting outstanding K-State teams, players and moments from all sports.
Now in its 14th season of hosting Wildcat basketball, the Fred Bramlage Coliseum has carved its own niche in Kansas State's colorful history of basketball residence.
In keeping with the tradition established by Nichols Gymnasium and Ahearn Field House, Bramlage Coliseum (13,500) has given Kansas State a deafening, winning environment.
The K-State men's team is 140-57 (.711) in its current home, including an emotional 81-77 victory over Purdue in the facility's opener on Nov. 26, 1988. In 13 seasons, 12 ranked teams have fallen to the Wildcats on the Bramlage hardwood, including No. 1 Missouri and No. 3 Oklahoma on ESPN telecasts during the 1989-90 season, and No. 19 Iowa and No. 20 Missouri last season under first-year head coach Jim Wooldridge.
The Wildcat women, meanwhile, sport an impressive 113-61 (.649) mark in 13 seasons of play. During the past eight seasons, KSU has posted a 73-34 record in the Purple Palace and a 43-22 mark under fifth-year head coach Deb Patterson.
While carrying on the tradition, Bramlage Coliseum has also pointed K-State in a new direction. The Wildcats now play in one of the most beautiful and modern facilities in the country. In just 13 seasons, it also has played host to some of the biggest crowds in the history of K-State basketball, a program that is accustomed to playing in front of packed houses.
In its 13 years of existence, the coliseum has helped K-State set a new record for season ticket sales (11,600 in 1988-89) and the new structure has hosted seven of the 10 largest crowds in Kansas State's impressive men's basketball history, including a Bramlage-record 13,762 for the Kansas game on Feb. 22, 1992.
More than just numbers, though, Bramlage Coliseum has maintained the intangibles that have been a part of Kansas State basketball for so long. The frenzied crowds are close to the action as the pit-like construction seats fans seemingly right on top of the game. In addition, the 6,000 student seats are located directly behind both team benches on the east side of the coliseum.
The coliseum is named for the late 1935 KSU graduate and Junction City (Kan.) businessman Fred Bramlage, who made the original and principle contribution. The building was constructed at a cost of $17.2 million and was built in a 22-month period beginning in October of 1986. Financial backing, which began taking shape in 1979, came from a number of contributions, including $7 million from the student body and a matching figure from alumni. Unlike its predecessor, Ahearn Field House (built for $2 million in 1950), state monies were not used for Bramlage Coliseum.
Mr. Bramlage was on hand Oct. 18, 1986, to break ground on the new facility. Other dignitaries included then-Governor John Carlin and KSU President Jon Wefald.
"What we begin here today will add to the glory and reputation of KSU," Bramlage said at the ceremony. "My hope is that this coliseum will inspire people to come together around teams in the spirit of cooperation."
On that same day, Art Loub, Director of the KSU Foundation, said, "If it were not for Fred Bramlage, this day would not be a reality. This is a tribute to the dedication and resourcefulness of one individual."
Mild winters helped construction crews finish the project about two months ahead of schedule. Most of the athletics offices were moved from Ahearn to Bramlage in early September of 1988. Those offices now housed in the coliseum include the office of athletics director and most of the administrative offices, the business office, the sports information and the men's basketball offices.
Locker rooms for the men's and women's teams are located at ground level. They include a spacious dressing area, as well as additional space to view film and relax before and after practice.
On the same level is the media workroom with space for 16 writers. The room is complete with 16 phone jacks and electrical outlets. Media seating during the game is located courtside on the west side of the Bramlage Coliseum floor, which seats the media right next to the action.
The addition of Bramlage Coliseum to the north side of campus gives Kansas State one of the finest all-around athletic venues in the country. KSU Football Stadium, the Football Indoor Facility, Frank Myers Baseball Field, R.V. Christian Track, Washburn Tennis Complex and the Brandeberry Indoor Complex are all within walking distance.