MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State University’s Bill Snyder Family Stadium is getting a new look this off-season, as a new building is slowly rising on the western edge of the field. The Wildcats are looking forward to a new seven-story, 250,000-square-foot structure, housing the future press box and ticket office beginning with the 2013 season, but are fortunate to be able to use the stadium in its current form while work is being completed.
The university broke ground on the $75 million project in late April, with construction continuing through the 2012 season, and completion slated for just before the first game of the 2013 season. GE Johnson out of Colorado Springs and Mortenson Construction from Minnesota are the construction managers for the project, with design led by Los Angeles firm AECOM, with assistance from Heery Design.
“The idea is that we want to enhance the overall fan experience for everybody involved,” assistant university architect and project manager David McMullen explained. “There will be improved facilities from everything from concessions to suites — we’ll have several levels of suites available to the general public. There will also be a Hall of Fame where we can have exhibits of various players and the history of K-State football.”
Some of the main attractions will be the new “tailgate terrace” and a new set of clubs and outdoor suites. Season ticket holders in suites and clubs will get all-inclusive food and beverage packages. The Hall of Fame will also be included in the new building.
The expansion will also include some basic convenience upgrades, including more concessions and restroom options, a new ticket office, a dining hall for student athletes, and additional K-State fan/student shops.
The new building will represent the largest single-structure project ever undertaken at the campus. The current press box will remain in use until the end of the 2012 season.
“The idea for the fan experience this fall is going to be as much interest in what is going on as it is maybe what it’s going to be when its done,” McMullen explained, before adding that fans would be safely directed around the construction during games in 2012. “The stadium will stand as an icon to Kansas State University for 100 years or more,” he predicted.
A major milestone was reached in mid-August, when a building on the south end of the stadium was demolished. The structure previously supplied fan retail, first aid and restroom functions. Restroom facilities at neighboring Bramlage Coliseum, home of the K-State basketball teams, will be left open during games this season, to make up for the loss of bathrooms until the new facilities are completed, along with temporary bathrooms that will be added inside the stadium. A large tent will replace the fan-ware retail function in the short-term.
K-State’s home opener for the 2012 season, September 1 against Missouri State, is already sold out. The Wildcats hope to continue their recent success under head football coach Bill Snyder, who led the team to a 10-2 record, securing a second place finish in the Big 12 Conference last year. Excitement continues to mount as the football team was ranked in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 this August, making it the first time the Wildcats have secured that honor since 2004.