WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Cessna Stadium, which was once home to Wichita State University (WSU) football, could see some changes soon.

During the Kansas Board of Regents meeting on Thursday, WSU requested to amend the fiscal year improvement plan for “University Stadium projects as a replacement for Cessna Stadium.”

According to the Board of Regents agenda, the new stadium would seat approximately 10,000 people when fully finished.

For those who use the facilities around and inside Cessna stadium, they say change can be a good thing.

“Anything that’s new and exciting on campus, anything that’s even just events on campus, you know there’s more places to eat on campus, there’s stores, there’s a hotel on campus,” said John Wise, WSU assistant director of track and field. “It makes Wichita State feel more traditional. Decades ago, we have felt less traditional. Anything that’s more traditional like that keeps young people interested.”

Wise says the digs are bound to be yet another recruiting tool to get kids to visit campus.

“Anything new is fun and exciting and brings attention to our program in a positive way,” said Wise. “The facility is never the most important thing. But it’s part of a series of things that are important which is the educational programs are very important, the new parts of campus are great.”

WSU intends to complete the project in phases, according to the agenda. The reason for this is to maintain infrastructure for the Wichita State Track and Field team, as well as the annual Kansas State High School Track and Field Championship.

The two phases of the project are split into 1A and 1B, and then 2A and 2B.

Phase 1A would begin in August 2023 and includes improvements on the east side of the track. WSU says these improvements are:

  • Underground utility work
  • A bermed grass seating area seating for 2,390
  • New free-standing field lights
  • Ticket pavilion
  • Restroom/storage buildings
  • Plaza

According to WSU, Phase 1B would start in June 2024 and would widen the existing grass field to accommodate a regulation-sized soccer field, as well as reconfigure the eight-lane track around the widened field.

It also includes new aluminum bleacher seating at the north and south ends of the track to seat a total of 3,460 spectators.

The agenda says Phase 2A is the demolition of the existing west Cessna Stadium structure and would begin in June 2025. WSU says it would build a new west stadium structure with seating for 4,190 spectators.

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 incorporates a pedestrian plaza between Koch Arena and the new stadium to allow for food trucks, merchandise tents, and public space adjacent to the stadium.

“Phase 2A and 2B will need to incorporate an accelerated construction schedule to ensure that the new west side stadium seating is ready for the KSHS Track and Field Championship in May 2026,” the agenda notes read.

WSU says the funding of Phase 1A and 1B project will be through “university funds, private gifts, revenue bonds, and other local funding sources.” The funding for Phase 2A and 2B, which will cost around $39.5 million, is “to be determined.”