Jan. 5, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – On the eve of K-State’s third appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, Wildcat Nation was introduced to one of the largest and most critical facility projects in K-State Athletics history Thursday as the department unveiled plans for a campaign to fund a new West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium during the pre-bowl pep rally at Rangers Ballpark.
Phase Two of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan will feature a massive new west-side structure that is considered pivotal in maintaining and securing K-State’s competitive future, enhancing the overall experience of both K-State student-athletes and fans and providing a Northwest Gateway to the K-State campus that will connect the athletics complex to the campus while serving as a point of pride to K-Staters for generations. Phase One of the master plan was completed prior to the 2011 season with the addition of new restrooms to the east-side upper deck and a new AstroTurf playing surface on Wagner Field.
“As we continue to move forward as a member of the Big 12 Conference, it is imperative that we build upon the tradition and success of our program and the passion of our fan base,” said Athletics Director John Currie. “The grass-roots support of our fans coupled with philanthropic leadership will allow us to privately fund this transformational project and significantly enhance not only the world-class experience of our student-athletes and the national visibility of Kansas State University, the city of Manhattan and the state of Kansas but also the terrific fans that will help make this a reality. There will be something in this facility for every fan and student-athlete, and it will show that we are fully committed to maintaining, as well as furthering, our position as a leader at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.”
The approximate 250,000 gross square-foot facility, constructed in K-State limestone at a projected full project cost of $75 million, will provide enhanced amenities for Wildcat fans and student-athletes while replacing the stadium's original facilities built in 1968 and the Dev Nelson Press Box opened in 1993. The new structure will include expansive concession and restroom facilities, new ticket office and K-State retail locations, a K-State Hall of Honor within a large main concourse, a student-athlete dining hall, new club and loge seats as well as additional premium suites and a new press/media level. Most importantly, the structure will provide a more accessible, safe and secure environment for all Wildcat and visiting families and fans.
Among the enhancements fans will enjoy include more than double the number of restroom fixtures from the current structure and more than triple the concession points of sale, an increase in ADA seating, larger and more efficient gates for entry into the stadium and a much larger concourse area of approximately 40,000 square feet.
“As we move forward with our K-State 2025 plan to be a Top 50 public research university, we are going to have to maintain great facilities across the board, from wonderful classrooms and state of the art research facilities to new and improved athletic facilities,” said K-State President Kirk Schulz. “Every part of the university needs enhanced facilities to help with recruitment, and we want to elevate ourselves to make sure we have the type of facilities that our faculty, staff, students and alumni are very proud of.”
The project will be led by the world-renowned sports design firm AE Com (formerly Ellerbe Becket out of Kansas City) with design support from Heery Design in conjunction with Construction Managers GE Johnson and Mortenson Construction. With continued momentum in the funding campaign, K-State’s goal is to break ground prior to the 2012 football season with an estimated substantial completion in time for the 2013 football season. The initial construction process will take place around the current press box structure before being fully completed.
Head coach Bill Snyder understands the significance of such a project to not only the Wildcat football program but also the entire K-State family.
“This new gateway to Kansas State University sends a message to what a remarkable university we have,” said Snyder. “We have a tremendous environment for our student-athletes and all of our students, and this truly shows how it all ties together with this amazing community that we have. We are all one family, which permeates the entire university, our fan base and our wonderful student body and faculty.”
No tax or tuition dollars will be used, as the facility will be funded entirely by the generosity of K-Staters through leadership construction gifts and grass roots support. The private investment will significantly increases the departments’ future revenue generating capacity and K-State’s ability to compete.
While more than one-third of the $75 million in funding needed to complete the project has already been secured, the department, to maintain its commitment to fiscal integrity, is committed to receiving at least 50 to 60 percent or more of the total funding in philanthropic commitments before bonds are issued and ground is broken on construction.
K-State needs Wildcat fans to contribute and be a part of this pivotal step in helping K-State remain a national leader in college athletics. Every contribution makes a difference, from the high-end premium seating opportunities to general project gifts of any amount.
“The opportunity is now for the Wildcat family to be a part of this philanthropic project,” Currie added. “Let’s take this step forward together and continue to show that K-State Athletics is a serious player in not only the Big 12 Conference but at the highest level of all intercollegiate athletics.”
More details, including photos, an introductory video and information on how to contribute to this transformational project, are available at www.k-statesports.com/weststadiumcenter.