MANHATTAN – Kansas State is constructing a new soccer facility that will serve as the practice home for its new women’s soccer team and also host the majority of its games, the school announced Monday.
The project will cost an estimated $2.1 million, and will be funded entirely by revenue generated by the athletic department.
Plans call for new facility to be built south of K-State’s baseball stadium, where the football team’s current grass practice fields reside. Two new grass fields, consisting of a Bermuda sufrace, with an irrigation and draining system will be installed. Fan amenities such as lighting, bleacher seating, a media facility, decorative fencing and a scoreboard will go around one field.
Football and soccer will both utilize the space for practice. K-State football coach Bill Snyder holds most of his practices at Snyder Family Stadium, leaving the current grass fields unused for much of the year.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new fields will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday. Work on the project began April 27. It is being managed by Mid-America Sports Construction and Wildcat Construction. It should be completed by July.
“While exploring all options for our soccer program, we wanted to find the location that will best serve our student-athletes and also provide the best experience for our fans,” athletic director John Currie said in a statement. “This latest project will not only provide our soccer program with a new home but will also serve the practice needs of our football student-athletes while providing the long-term flexibility for further improvements and expansion in additional phases.”
K-State women’s soccer was created last year, when the athletic department decided to eliminate equestrian. It will play its first game in the fall of 2016.
Currie previously said K-State soccer would play its games at Memorial Stadium, the Wildcats’ old football stadium on the south end of campus, but that facility turned out to be impractical. Students rely on it for intramural and club sports, and the marching band practices there.
Still, K-State says it may try and host a few games there each season to accommodate large crowds.