Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium

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Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium
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.

Construction and renovations
Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium opened as KSU Stadium in 1968, with a capacity of 30,000. 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. 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 USD 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. 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, raising the permanent seating capacity by approximately 1,900, to 52,200. 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 capcity to 50,000 following the renovation.

Before the final game of the 2005 season, Kansas State offered to name the stadium after 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, in the stadium that bears his name.

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. Kansas State won the game 21-14 amid pomp and ceremony, including a skydiver delivering the first conference game ball.
  • 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 Stadium
Kansas State has exceeded the official capacity at Bill Snyder Family Stadium several times; following are the top 10 crowds:
  • 53,811 Nebraska, November 11, 2000
  • 53,310 Oklahoma, October 16, 2004
  • 53,011 Oklahoma, October 14, 2000
  • 52,254 Kansas, October 9, 1999
  • 52,234 Nebraska, October 23, 2004
  • 52,221 Nebraska, November 16, 2002
  • 52,077 Colorado, November 6, 1999
  • 51,614 Kansas, October 25, 2003
  • 51,536 Colorado, October 18, 2003
  • 51,234 Missouri, November 20, 1999

Future expansion
In 2008, the "Wildcat Victory" campaign was established with the goal of upgrading K-State's athletic facilities. Under this campaign, Bramlage Coliseum and the west side of Bill Snyder Family Stadium would undergo drastic changes. The plans for the stadium are currently called "Phase II" of the project, and are indefinite. As presently proposed, the plans include expanding the height and length of the press box to match the east side upper deck. The enlarged press box would also include suites like those on the east side. The plans also involve remodeling the west side restrooms, concession stands and the Cat's Closet store. Finally, the plan includes building a limestone fence around the base of the stadium's seating area.

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.