Kansas State announced plans for expansion on Bill Snyder Family Stadium in January, but after an anonymous $5 million pledge, the Wildcats will break ground on the expansion in a ceremony prior to the spring game on April 28.
"We would not be making this step forward if we did not feel like there was enough momentum from our fundraising team and the donors who have expressed interest in this project in moving forward," Kansas State athletic director John Currie told reporters.
K-State has secured $40 million in contributions toward the $75 million stadium renovation, which will tear down the existing press box and build a new limestone structure on the stadium that officials want to serve as a gateway to the campus.
The additions will be built during the 2012 season, but the school hopes the West Stadium Center will be open for the 2013 season.
"It's an aggressive schedule, but it's also a realistic schedule," Currie told reporters. "We look (the contractors) in the eye every day like we did yesterday and say, ‘We've got three football games to start that season at home, so we've got to be ready.'"
The new west-side structure will feature fan amenities, a ticket office, a dining hall for athletes and 40 luxury suites, all of which have been pre-sold.
K-State has the capacity to sell more suites, but Currie said 40 was the ideal balance of supply and demand.
"We wanted to be real careful to understand our market and not have too many of anything," Currie said. "The gifts that were associated with those suites were very significant, as much as half a million dollars for a particular suite."
This should be a good move for K-State. There's lots of money in the new Big 12, and the Wildcats have one of the best home atmospheres in the league. They also have one of the press boxes most in need of an upgrade, which they'll get.
Kansas State also released its spring roster, which featured several notable omissions.
Brodrick Smith, a former starter who would have been a senior in 2012, was the most notable omission. Defensive end Brandon Harold was also not on the roster after leaving the team in August. Shaun Simon was starting on the offensive line in fall camp before suffering an injury in the season opener, and he wasn't on the roster. Also, 2011 defensive end signee Ian Seau, the nephew of NFL great Junior Seau, was not on the roster.