Bill Snyder Family Stadium is getting a upgrade. On the eve of K-State’s third appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the school unveiled plans for stadium expansion.
Phase Two of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan will feature a massive new west-side structure that the university says is critical in maintaining and securing K-State’s competitive future. The addition will connect the athletics complex to the campus. Phase One of the master plan was completed prior to the 2011 season. It included 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 will cost an estimated $75 million. It will also replace the stadium's original facilities built in 1969 and the Dev Nelson Press Box which opened in 1993. The new structure will triple the number of concession areas, double the number of restrooms, add a 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.
"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 headed by the 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. 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.
"This new gateway to Kansas State University sends a message to what a remarkable university we have," said head football coach and stadium namesake Bill 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. Funding will come from donations. More than a third of the money needed has already been raised. However, at least 50 or 60 percent of the goal is required before groundbreaking can begin.
"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."