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Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium

Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium
Wagner Field
Former names KSU Stadium
Location 1800 College Avenue
Manhattan, KS 66502-3308
Owner Kansas State University
Operator Kansas State University
Capacity 53,000[1] (actual capacity for all football matches), 50,000 (2006–present)
50,300 (1999–2005)
43,000 (1970–1998)
35,000 (1968–1969)
Record attendance 53,811
Surface Astroturf Gameday Grass
Broke ground October 1, 1967
Opened 21 September 1968 (1968-09-21)
Renovated 1993, 2007, 2013–2015
Expanded 1970, 1999
Construction cost $1.6 million (original structure)
($10.9 million in 2016 dollars[2])
Architect HOK Sport (renovations)
Kansas State Wildcats football (1968–present)

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 the family atmosphere he helped make famous at Kansas State. Over the past 25 seasons – from 1990 through the 2014 season – K-State is 135–32–1 (.807) at home.[3]

The stadium has a seating capacity of 50,000. After new construction in 2013 and 2015, the exterior of two sides of the stadium is built of limestone, and features towers with decorative battlements – reminiscent of the appearance of the old Memorial Stadium.


  • Construction and renovations 1
    • West Side Stadium Center 1.1
    • Vanier Football Complex 1.2
    • Phased Master Plan 1.3
  • Name 2
  • Historical notes 3
  • Top 10 crowds at Snyder Stadium 4
  • Non-football uses 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Construction and renovations

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. 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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] 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.

The main entrance to the West Side Stadium Center, with statue of Bill Snyder.

West Side Stadium Center

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.[7][8]

Vanier Football Complex

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.

Phased Master Plan

The West Side Stadium and the new football complex were 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. The seating capacity impact has not yet been finalized, but a significant increase isn't projected. Current plans show a total increase of approximately 1,000 seats. Phases IV, V and VI are in the planning stage.


Kansas State vs Stephen F. Austin on August 30, 2014

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."[9] Hence, the Regents renamed the stadium to honor the family of the coach who had led the team for 17 years.[10]

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).

Historical notes

  • 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.[11] Kansas State won the game 21-14 amid pomp and ceremony.[12]
  • 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.
  • Kansas States's 500th win was 23-0 against University of Texas on October 25, 2014.
  • The stadium has hosted several Kansas State High School Activities Association State Championship contests and Kansas Shrine Bowl games.

Top 10 crowds at Snyder Stadium

Kansas State has exceeded the official capacity at Bill Snyder Family Stadium dozens of times; following are the top 10 crowds:[13]

The stadium as it appeared in 2006, with the former Dev Nelson press box on the left, and former Vanier complex at center (both subsequently demolished and replaced).
Highest attendance at Snyder Stadium
Rank Attendance Date Game result
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, 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 53,073 Sep. 7, 2013 Kansas State 48, Louisiana-Lafayette 27
10 53,046 Sep. 18, 2014 #20 Kansas State 14, #5 Auburn 20
*Official opening of West Side Stadium Center
#Official opening of Vanier Football Complex

Non-football uses

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.[14]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ "Game-by-Game Results for Kansas State". James Howell. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  4. ^ "KSU Buildings Chronology" (English). Retrieved July 28, 2007. 
  5. ^ Haskin, Kevin (July 25, 1999). "KSU Stadium Project on Track".  
  6. ^ Bisel, Tim (June 26, 2007). "K-State Has Grand Plans".  
  7. ^ Rodgers, Lindsay (August 30, 2013). "K-State Debuts New Stadium Center and Tribute to Coach Snyder.".  
  8. ^ Gregorian, Vahe (August 30, 2013). "Statue of K-State coach Bill Snyder sculpted by KC artist.".  
  9. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (November 18, 2005). "Snyder is Retiring, But K-State Stadium Will Be in the Family".  
  10. ^ "Board of Regents Re-Names Kansas State University's Football Stadium" (PDF) (Press release). November 16, 2005. Retrieved July 28, 2007. 
  11. ^ Caywood, Kurt (June 15, 2007). "Some Key Dates in Big 12 History (sidebar)".  
  12. ^ Meek, Austin (October 4, 2008). "A Far Cry From 1996".  
  13. ^ Kansas State list of top crowds
  14. ^ 1988 KSU yearbook on

External links

  • Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium at
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