WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Board of Regents has given Wichita State University permission to tear down Cessna Stadium.
“Seeking permission from the Kansas Board of Regents is the first step in any process as a state institution,” said Darron Boatright, Wichita State Athletics Director, in a statement. “We believe demolition is the best course of action when and if funding sources are identified.”
The Regents approved the request 9-0.
The 30,000-seat stadium has been on the campus for 74 years. It was the home for the Shocker football program until football ended in 1986.
The team locker rooms and support facilities that are currently in the stadium are being relocated to the new Student Athlete Center that is currently being built adjacent to Koch Arena.
In its request to the regents, WSU said the stadium is in poor condition and has outlasted the typical lifespan of exposed steel structures.
The school spent more than $100,000 on repairs after a 2017 study found significant steel repair was needed for immediate safety.
WSU told the Regents the building would continue to need repairs and is a continuing public safety concern. The school says the stadium is also not ADA compliant.
WSU wants to demolish the stadium in two separate phases so that track activities could continue until a new, smaller multi-purpose stadium is built on the site.
The new facility would serve both men’s and women’s athletics and the regional community by supporting soccer, lacrosse, and track and field events for both WSU and K-12 aged tournaments.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with KSHAA and hosting the state track meet as well as track and field meets for our program,” said Boatright.
Phase 1 of the demolition of Cessna Stadium would focus on the east stands. Phase 2 would be demolition of the west stands and the press box. There is no start date for the project.
The school estimates the cost of razing the building at approximately $1.4 million. It says the money would come from private funds and restricted fee funds.