MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - K-State fans got an early taste of football Saturday afternoon at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Following an 8-5 record last season and a win over Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, thousands of excited K-State fans came out to get an early glimpse of their 2014 Wildcat football team at the annual Purple and White spring game.
The Wildcats are slated to face off against SEC Champion Auburn for the third game of the season, with conference home games against Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma State and Kansas.
"I think K-State’s going to have a great season," said Senator Pat Roberts. "I think there’s going to be a lot of excitement on offense. I think it’s going to be wide open. I think we’re going to be very hard to cover. I think Bill Snyder has done a great recruiting job too on defense in filling some holes."
The tailgating scene at Bill Snyder Family Stadium resembled that of a regular season game, and while the majority of those in attendance were clad in purple, the day allowed fans and athletes from other schools to come enjoy an afternoon in Manhattan.
"My sister goes to school here and I really like the atmosphere here at K-State," said Wichita State's Ron Baker. "There’s a lot of good people here. I have a good time when I’m here and people treat me really well. I have two high school classmates that are on the team; Luke Hayes and Colburn Couchman. And Jake Waters, I like watching him play. He’s one of my buddies, so I’ll be watching him today."
Just before kickoff, Athletics Director John Currie unveiled the plans for the $65 million renovation of the Vanier Football Complex which will be known as the North Stadium Project.
The project will involve tearing down the entire Vanier Football complex and replacing it. The new training complex will include expansive spaces, bold graphics, state-of-the-art equipment, a grand 4-story atrium that will be accessible from all levels, and a new academic learning center will facilitate academic support services for K-State student-athletes from all 16 sports.
There will also be new overall seating including some enclosed seating above the outdoor seats, as well as a new scoreboard and video boards on the Northwest and Northeast corners.
Construction of the facility will begin after the Wildcats’ final home game against Kansas on November 29 with substantial completion by the start of the 2015 season.