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Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium
Wagner Field
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Location 1800 College Avenue
Manhattan, KS 66502-3308
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Broke ground October 1, 1967
Opened September 21, 1968
Renovated 1993, 2006, 2013
Expanded 1970, 1999
Owner Kansas State University
Operator Kansas State University
Surface GameDayGrass 3D60H 2011 to present
Fieldturf 2002 to 2010
Astroturf 1991 to 2001
Superturf 1980 to 1990
Astroturf 1970 to 1979
Natural grass 1968 to 1969
Construction cost $1.6 million (original structure)
($10.1 million in 2020 dollars[1])
Architect HOK Sport (renovations)
Former names KSU Stadium (1968–2005)
Tenants Kansas State Wildcats (NCAA) (1968–present)
Capacity 50,000 (2006-present)
50,300 (1999-2005)
43,000 (1970-1998)
35,000 (1968-1969)

Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium is a stadium in Manhattan, Kansas. It is used for American football, and is the home field of the Kansas State University Wildcats football team. It is named after head coach Bill Snyder and his family. Since 1990, K-State is 113-26-1 (.807) at home.

Construction and renovationsEdit

Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium opened as KSU Stadium in 1968, with a capacity of 35,000. It was the replacement for the on-campus Memorial Stadium, which hosted Kansas State football games since 1922 (and is still standing today). The first game played at the new stadium was on September 21, 1968 – Kansas State shut out Colorado State 21-0.

In 1970, 4,000 permanent bleacher seats were added to the east side and 3,000 temporary seats on the west side. Also that year, an AstroTurf playing field was installed in place of natural grass.

Over the next two decades, the stadium received only periodic updates. First, the original turf was replaced in 1980 with a product called Superturf, and lights were installed prior to the 1983 season. In 1988, the south end of the stadium was partially enclosed when the new Bramlage Coliseum was completed. A large reception room inside the coliseum now overlooks the south end of the stadium. Finally, prior to the 1991 season, another new artificial playing surface was installed and the playing field was named Wagner Field for the Dave and Carol Wagner family of Dodge City, Kansas.[2]

In 1993, on its 25th anniversary, KSU Stadium saw its first significant permanent additions – a five-level press box and luxury suites on the west side of the field. After the 1998 season, the stadium underwent another expansion, a $12.8 million project designed by HOK Sport that increased the official seating capacity to 50,300 and added an upper deck on the east grandstands, club seating, and more luxury suites.[3] Prior to the 2002 season, the artificial turf was updated to a more cushioned FieldTurf surface at a cost of $800,000.

Prior to the 2006 season, another $5.6 million was used to renovate the locker-room complex and add new north end zone seating, reportedly raising the permanent seating capacity by approximately 1,900.[4] The renovation also included new audio and visual electronics and a new hydrotherapy center. Although new permanent seating was added, the athletic department actually lowered the stadium's official seating capacity to 50,000 following the renovation.

After the 2010 season the field was replaced with artificial gameday turf. Additional renovations were announced including the addition of concessions and restrooms in the east side upper deck.

NameEdit

Before the final game of the 2005 season, Kansas State offered to name the stadium Bill Snyder Stadium in honor of retiring head coach Bill Snyder. In 17 years, Snyder had turned the Wildcats, once the definition of college football futility, into a frequent championship contender in the Big 12 Conference. When he was asked about renaming the stadium, Snyder told school officials, "If you are going to do it, name it after the people that I care about the most."[5] Hence, the Regents renamed the stadium to honor the family of the coach who had led the team for 17 years.[6]

Starting in the 2009 season, Snyder returned to coach the team again, becoming one of only three coaches in division I FBS history to coach in a stadium that bears his name, joining Bear Bryant at Alabama and Shug Jordan at Auburn.

Historical notesEdit

  • From 1996 to 2000, Kansas State won 26 consecutive games on its home field. This is the 25th-longest home winning streak in NCAA history.
  • On August 31, 1996, the stadium hosted the first athletic competition in Big 12 Conference history: a football game between Kansas State and Texas Tech University.[7] Kansas State won the game 21-14 amid pomp and ceremony, including a skydiver delivering the first conference game ball.[8]
  • The first night game at the stadium was held on October 23, 1982, when TBS erected temporary lights to televise a game against the University of Kansas. Kansas State won the game 36-7, in front of a then-record crowd of 43,167.
  • Kansas State's 100th game at the stadium was a 21-14 loss to Iowa State University on November 16, 1985.
  • Kansas State's 200th game at the stadium was a 40-7 win over Louisiana Tech on November 17, 2001.
  • The stadium has hosted several Kansas State High School Activities Association State Championship contests and Kansas Shrine Bowl games.

Top 10 crowds at Snyder StadiumEdit

Kansas State has exceeded the official capacity at Bill Snyder Family Stadium several times; following are the top 10 crowds:[9]

File:Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium 2006.jpg
  • 53,811 Nebraska, November 11, 2000 (W, 29-28)
  • 53,310 Oklahoma, October 16, 2004 (L, 21-31)
  • 53,011 Oklahoma, October 14, 2000 (L, 31-41)
  • 52,254 Kansas, October 9, 1999 (W, 50-9)
  • 52,234 Nebraska, October 23, 2004 (W, 45-21)
  • 52,221 Nebraska, November 16, 2002 (W, 49-13)
  • 52,077 Colorado, November 6, 1999 (W, 20-14)
  • 51,614 Kansas, October 25, 2003 (W, 42-6)
  • 51,536 Colorado, October 18, 2003 (W, 49-20)
  • 51,234 Missouri, November 20, 1999 (W, 66-0)

Expansion plansEdit

On Jan. 5, 2012, the eve of K-State’s third appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the university announced plans to construct the West Stadium Center, the second phase of the stadium master plan. Phase Two of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan will feature a new west-side structure providing a northwest gateway to the K-State campus that will connect the athletics complex to the campus. 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.[10]

File:Kansas State KSU Stadium.jpg

The approximate Script error facility, constructed in K-State limestone at a projected full project cost of $75 million, is planned to provide enhanced amenities for 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 larger 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.

On December 15, 2012, at 9am, the old Dev Nelson Press Box, built in 1994, was imploded by controlled explosion to make way for the new West Stadium Center.

The project will be led by sports design firm AECOM (formerly Ellerbe Becket), out of Kansas City, with design support from Heery Design in conjunction with Construction Managers GE Johnson and Mortenson Construction. With the majority of the fundraising goal reached, K-State broke ground on the project prior to the 2012 Spring Game. The expansion is scheduled to be substantially completed in time for the 2013 football season. The initial construction process will take place around the current press box structure before being fully completed.

No tax or tuition dollars will be used, as the facility will be funded entirely by private donations through leadership construction gifts and grass roots support.[1]

Non-football usesEdit

The facility has hosted a very small number of non-football activities. On September 5, 1987, Willie Nelson performed a concert at the stadium to raise money for Farm Aid, following a Kansas State football game against Austin Peay State.[2]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Kansas college football venues

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