The Wichita State University Board of Trustees approved funding on Thursday for phases 1A and 1B for the capital improvement plan to replace Cessna Stadium, for a total project cost of approximately $11.8 million.
When completed, the new university stadium will accommodate more than 10,000 spectators and include an 8-lane track and space for a soccer field.
Phasing has been developed around maintaining the spectator seating and other infrastructure required for the annual Kansas State High School Track and Field Championship and the Wichita State track and field teams.
- Demolition of the east stands of Cessna Stadium will be handled outside the scope of this project as a separate small capital project. The west side of the stadium, capacity around 12,000, will remain standing to allow for continued operation of the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championship. The intent for the University Stadium project is to select a design team to create an architectural program and then create construction documents for the entire project to be bid by phase as separate construction projects as funding is available.
- Phase 1A is anticipated to start in August 2023 and includes the improvements on the east side of the existing track (underground utility work, a bermed grass seating area seating for 2,390, new free-standing field lights, ticket pavilion, restroom/storage buildings, and plaza).
- Phase 1B, anticipated to start in June 2024, widens the existing grass field to accommodate a regulation-sized soccer field and reconfigures the 8-lane track around the widened field. This phase also includes new aluminum bleacher seating at the north and south side of the track to seat a total of 3,460 spectators.
- Phase 2A, the demolition of the existing west Cessna Stadium structure, can begin as early as June 2025. A new west stadium structure with seating for 4,190 will be built as Phase 2B. The new west stadium would include a single level of press boxes and suites, offices/locker rooms/team room areas for a future soccer team, as well as restrooms, concessions and storage rooms.
- Phase 2B also incorporates a pedestrian plaza between Charles Koch Arena and the new stadium to allow for food trucks, merchandise tents and public space adjacent to the stadium.
The total project cost of Phase 2A/2B is anticipated to be approximately $39.5 million. Funding for Phase 2A/2B will be a combination of university funds, private gifts and other local funding sources.