The entrance to the stadium
|Former names||KSU Stadium (1968-2005)|
|Location||1800 College Avenue|
Manhattan, KS 66502-3308
|Owner||Kansas State University|
|Operator||Kansas State University|
|Surface||AstroTurf RootZone 3D3|
|Broke ground||October 1, 1967|
|Opened||September 21, 1968|
|Renovated||1993, 2007, 2012-2017|
|Construction cost||US$1.6 million (original structure)|
($11.5 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Wolfenbarger & McCulley (original structure)|
HOK Sport (renovations)
|Kansas State Wildcats football (1968-present)|
Bill Snyder Family 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 the family of head coach Bill Snyder. Over the past 28 seasons - from 1990 through the 2018 season - K-State is 153-41-1 (.787) at home.
The stadium has an official seating capacity of 50,000. After new construction in 2013 and 2015, the exterior of two sides of the stadium is clad with limestone, and features towers with decorative limestone battlements - reminiscent of the appearance of the school's old World War I Memorial Stadium.
Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium opened as KSU Stadium in 1968, with a seating 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 (temporary light standards were brought in for the 1982 game vs. Kansas, which was nationally televised by TBS). 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.
In 1993, on its 25th anniversary, KSU Stadium saw its first significant permanent addition - a five-level press box and luxury suites on the west side of the field, named the Dev Nelson press box. After the 1998 season, the stadium underwent another expansion, a $12.8 million project designed by HOK Sport that added an upper deck on the east grandstands, club seating, and more luxury suites, which increased the official stadium capacity to 50,300. 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. 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 unveiled for the 2011 season included the addition of concessions and restrooms in the east side upper deck.
A new project regarding the south end zone seating, including a new concourse, new restrooms, and private box seating will be added to increase the gameday experience for the Wildcat fan base. This will begin May 2020 and is planned to be completed before the start of the 2021 football season.
The most significant addition to the stadium since its construction was the West Side Stadium Center, a $90 million project, which opened for the 2013 season.
The project was 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. K-State broke ground on the project prior to the 2012 Spring Game. Initial construction process took place around the old Dev Nelson press box, and then on December 15, 2012, at 9:00 a.m., the Dev Nelson Press Box was imploded by controlled explosion to make way for the new center.
The approximately 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) facility, clad in limestone, provides new amenities for fans and student-athletes. The new structure includes larger concession and restroom facilities, new ticket office and retail locations, a K-State Hall of Honor within the 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. An outdoor Tailgate Terrace provides fans a place to enjoy the tailgating atmosphere of a K-State game day. The second through fourth levels have outdoor suite, club and loge seating. The fifth level is designated for media and coaches on game-days and will be the new permanent home for the K-State Media relations office.
The center was officially dedicated on August 30, 2013, in conjunction with the unveiling of an 11½ foot bronze statue of head football coach Bill Snyder in front of the structure. The statue, weighing 1,800 pounds, was created by sculptor E. Spencer Schubert.
In 2015, Kansas State opened a new locker-room complex behind the stadium's north end zone, replacing the previous structure. The complex includes a new spectator seating area, new offices, locker rooms and strength training facilities. In 2016, the Northeast Connector was completed, which included additional seats for fans, as well as seating for the band, and a new video board. All of the seating materials for this addition were provided by Hanson Sports, Inc. The expansion joint systems were supplied by EMSEAL Joint Systems, Ltd.
After the 2016 football season the stadium saw another set of upgrades. Coming in the form of a new limestone field wall. Along with updated sound and video throughout the stadium. Set to be completed before the 2017 season.
The West Side Stadium and the new football complex constituted Phases II and III of Kansas State's Master Plan for the future development of the university's athletic campus. The Master Plan is estimated to take 15 years to complete from the completion of Phase I (renovations to the east side's upper deck) in August 2011. Phases V and VI are in the planning stage.
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." Hence, the Regents renamed the stadium to honor the family of the coach who had led the team for 17 years.
Starting in the 2009 season, Snyder returned to coach the team again, becoming one of only five coaches in Division I FBS history to coach in a stadium that bears his name, joining Bear Bryant (Alabama), Amos Alonzo Stagg (Chicago), Shug Jordan (Auburn), and LaVell Edwards (BYU).
Kansas State has exceeded the official capacity at Bill Snyder Family Stadium dozens of times; following are the top 10 crowds:
|1||53,811||Nov. 11, 2000||#16 Kansas State 29, #4 Nebraska 28|
|2||53,746||Nov. 1, 2014||#9 Kansas State 48, Oklahoma State 14|
|3||53,671||Oct. 10, 2015||Kansas State 45, #2 TCU 52|
|4||53,540||Sep. 19, 2015||Kansas State 39, Louisiana Tech 33, 3OT|
|5||53,439||Nov. 29, 2014||#11 Kansas State 51, Kansas 13|
|6||53,351||Aug. 30, 2013*||Kansas State 21, #1 (FCS) N. Dakota State 24|
|7||53,310||Oct. 16, 2004||Kansas State 21, #2 Oklahoma 31|
|8||53,297||Sep. 7, 2015#||Kansas State 34, South Dakota 0|
|9||53,297||Nov. 21, 2015||Kansas State 38, Iowa State 35|
|10||53,073||Sep. 7, 2013||Kansas State 48, Louisiana-Lafayette 27|
|*Official opening of West Side Stadium Center|
|#Official opening of Vanier Football Complex|
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.