|Former names||Veterans Field (1946–1968)|
|Location||1845 E 21st Street N|
Wichita, Kansas 67260
|Owner||Wichita State University|
|Operator||Wichita State University|
|Broke ground||January 6, 1941|
|Opened||September 21, 1946|
|Renovated||1969, 1996, 2002|
$1,800,000 (2002 renovation)
|Wichita State Shockers (NCAA)|
Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School football
Cessna Stadium is a 24,000-seat stadium in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It is located on the south side of 21st Street, east of Hillside, on the campus of Wichita State University in northeast Wichita. Cessna is currently the home of the Shocker track and field team. Before the WSU football program was discontinued, the Shocker football team played home games at this stadium.
In the early days of Wichita State University, when it was known as Fairmount College, its first football field was located on the north side of 17th Street, immediately east of the current Henrion Hall, when it was the Henrion Gymnasium. In 1929, concrete bleachers were attached to the east side of the same building for football games.
In 1940, the school decided to build a new football stadium on the north side of campus at the current site on the south side of 21st Street. On January 6, 1941, ground was broken for Veterans Field, and by September 1942 the bowl was excavated, foundations were poured for the west stands, and a quarter of the west bleachers were completed, however construction was halted due to metal shortages during World War II. After the war ended, the bleachers were constructed in sections over time as funds were incrementally available. By mid-1946, stands were completed to a point where 6,000 seats were ready by the start of the 1946 football season. Veterans Field was finally completed before the start of the 1948 football season, with 15,000 seats and facilities for the press, concessions stands, and locker rooms. It was dedicated on November 25, 1948 during a football game with the University of Nevada. The stadium was dedicated to the members of the armed forces from Sedgwick County who served in World War II.
In 1967, Wichita State started considering the expansion of Veterans Field. In 1968, faculty and students voted and approved the expansion by adding on top of the existing stands of Veterans Field. Cessna Aircraft Company pledged a donation of $300,000 for the proposed stadium, and it was renamed to Cessna Stadium. The cost of the expansion was $1.5 Million, and the school had a fund drive to raise the remaining money. Construction was started on February 7, 1969 and completed in September. It was one of the most modern and complete football facilities in the nation at the time of its completion.
Wichita State University rededicated the facility on April 16, 2002 to mark the end of the seven-month, $1.3 million construction that included adding an eighth lane and resurfacing the track, reconfiguring the infield event layout, and building separate locker rooms for the Shocker men's and women's track and field teams, and a reduction of overall seating capacity. The first event in the renovated facility was WSU's annual K. T. Woodman Track and Field Classic, which is scheduled every April.
The Wichita State Shockers football team was a NCAA Division I football program. The Shockers fielded a team from 1897 to 1986. They played home games at Cessna Stadium and were members of the Missouri Valley Conference when the program was discontinued in 1986.
Cessna was the location of a Pittsburg State-Mesa State Division II college football game. The stadium has also played host to numerous Kansas State High School Football Championship games, including the Kansas Shrine Bowl, Kansas's high school all-star football game and high school football games from nearby Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School.
Track and field
Wichita State Shockers track and field currently uses the facilities. It has hosted several Missouri Valley Conference Championships and hosted the 2019 American Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
In April of each year, Cessna Stadium is the venue for the K. T. Woodman Invitational, a track and field meet for high schools, junior colleges, and many top collegiate track programs of the Midwest.
Cessna is used by Kapaun Mount Carmel High School of the Greater Wichita Athletic League as its home field for varsity football games. Other high school games are played at Cessna Stadium from time to time.
Cessna Stadium is open to the public for recreational use Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It is closed on holidays and during WSU track & field practices and special events. In April 2017, WSU decided to change their policy, a $100 deposit is now required to get a key to use their facilities.
- Henrion Hall; Wichita State University.
- Notes from Wichita newspapers about Veterans Field and Cessna Stadium; Dr. Edward N. Tihen; Wichita State University.
- Wichita State to celebrate Veterans Field on Veterans Day; November 1, 2010; Wichita State University.
- Cessna Stadium; Wichita State University.
- "Wichita State drops football". Wichita, Kansas: The Rock Hill Herald. Associated Press. December 3, 1986. pp. Page 10A. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "Wichita State suspends football program". The Evening News. December 3, 1986. pp. Page 2B. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2006-07-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Cessna Stadium facts from W.S.U. Athletics Website
- K.T. Woodman Classic History.
- K.T. Woodman Classic Meet History.
- Kapaun 2016 Varsity Football Schedule; Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School.
- Cessna Stadium; WSU.
- New Open Track Schedule for Cessna Stadium; WSU; August 27, 2010.
- Deposit now required for public use of Cessna Stadium; KAKE TV; April 14, 2017/
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cessna Stadium.|
- Wichita State celebrates Veterans Field rededication in 2010, wichita.edu
- 1965 aerial view of Veterans Field, wichitaphotos.org
- 1955 aerial view of west side of Veterans Field during construction of Round House, photo at bottom of page 68
- 1955 aerial view of original football field along 17th street, wichitaphotos.org