Aug 29, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The nation will be tuned to FOX Sports 1 and more than 50,000 Wildcat fans will be in attendance when the new West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium opens Friday with K-State’s season-opening football game against North Dakota State.
The day will kick off promptly at 11 a.m. with the West Stadium Center Dedication Celebration, which will be broadcast live on K-StateHD.TV. The one-hour ceremony will include special video presentations and comments from Governor Sam Brownback, President Kirk Schulz, Athletics Director John Currie, and Head Coach Bill Snyder, among others.
The celebration will conclude with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the massive structure and a special unveiling in honor of the Snyder family. Parking in the stadium's west lot opens at 9 a.m. for the event and is free.
The 7:30 p.m. sold-out matchup between the Wildcats and Bison, which will be broadcast nationally on FOX Sports 1 with Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington and Ryan Nece on the call, will provide Wildcat fans their first opportunity to experience the new amenities in and around Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
“Friday is a historic day for all of Wildcat Nation,” said Athletics Director John Currie. “Phase II of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan is packed with improvements including the West Stadium Center, a transformational facility that will not only serve as the northwest gateway to campus but also enhance the world-class student-athlete experience for our students-athletes and have a further impact on our goal of providing the best fan experience in the Big 12.”
The 215,000-square foot West Stadium Center is the centerpiece of Phase II of the six-phase Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan. A beautiful new student-athlete performance dining center overlooking Wagner Field is among the highlights benefiting all 458 K-State student-athletes in 16 sports. The structure includes brand 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 a new fan merchandise outlet, The K-State Super Store at the Stadium. More than 375 televisions throughout the building will help keep K-State fans abreast of the action throughout college football.
In addition to the original program scope of the WSC, the support of K-State fans and donors worldwide enabled the athletic department to expand Phase II to include a total of $90 million invested in Bill Snyder Family Stadium in the past 16 months. The viewing experience of fans both in the stadium and on television has been tremendously improved with new field lighting mounted on new structural standards atop the east side, while new parking lot lighting enhances the area’s safety and security. Dramatic new graphics and signage throughout the facility, a beautiful hall of honor, modern food service equipment, a new K-StateHD.TV high definition production and video board control studio, and expansion and reconfiguration of the south concourse to include a family friendly picnic area are among the additions to the project. 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. K-State Athletics 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 K-State a world-class facility on time and just eight months after the demolition of the former press box structure.
“The West Stadium Center is yet another milestone achievement in the transformation of not just the football program but the entire department thanks to Coach Snyder’s tireless leadership,” said Currie.
The interior of the West Stadium Center also includes new media and broadcast facilities of the Dev Nelson Press Level, well appointed suite, club and loge seating and Tailgate Terraces for Ahearn Fund donors to gather pregame and at halftime.
The project involved more than 12,000 cubic yards of concrete and 2,500 tons of steel with more than 350 construction workers onsite on peak days exceeding 750,000 personnel hours. Four elevators will move fans quickly to their respective level in the seven-story structure and twice as many restroom fixtures are available than in the previous west-side facilities. Food preparations can now be completed on site in the building's full-service kitchen while a new loading dock, commissary and service elevator ensure efficiencies.
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.
“This project would not have been possible without the incredible support of fans and the dedicated efforts of our architects, AECOM/Heery, construction managers Mortenson/GE Johnson as well as our staff,” Currie added. “Friday will be a huge leap forward as we build momentum under President Schulz’s leadership towards the K-State 2025 goal of elevating this institution into the ranks of the top 50 public research universities by the year 2025.”