Memorial Stadium (Kansas State)

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Memorial Stadium
Location Manhattan, Kansas
Owner Kansas State
Operator Kansas State
Capacity 17,500
Surface FieldTurf
Opened 1922
Construction cost $500,000 USD
Kansas State Wildcats (field lacrosse, rugby union, soccer)

Memorial Stadium is a stadium in Manhattan, Kansas. For several decades it was used by Kansas State University for college football and track and field. From its opening in 1922 until 1967 it was the home field of the Kansas State Wildcats football team, prior to the opening of Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium.

The stadium was built and named in tribute to Kansas State students who died in World War I. Its general seating capacity was 17,500 people when completed, although attendance sometimes exceeded 20,000. The west stands were built in 1922, and the stands on the east side of the stadium were completed two years later.

Football history[edit]

The first game held at the stadium was on October 6, 1922, when only the west wing of the stadium was complete.[1] Kansas State defeated Washburn University in that initial contest 47-0.[2]

The east wing of the stadium opened for the 1924 season. Four years later in 1928, a two-story wooden press-box was added to the east wing. The upper level was for press, while the lower level featured boxes for distinguished alumni and guests.[1]

A pre-World War II record crowd of 17,545 attended the Wildcats' game against #6 Oklahoma on November 11, 1939.[3] Kansas State lost the game 13-10.[2] After the war there were a handful of games where attendance exceeded 20,000, including a crowd of 23,822 to watch #18 Kansas State play #9 Oklahoma in 1953.

The first night college football game at Memorial Stadium was played on September 20, 1947. Oklahoma A&M defeated Kansas State by a score of 12-0.[2]

The stadium today[edit]

Athletic events[edit]

The stadium is still used for athletics. In 2002 the grass field was replaced with FieldTurf and the cinder track was replaced with a rubberized surface. The playing field is now painted for use by the school's club MCLA lacrosse team, soccer team, and is also used as the home pitch for the Rugby team, as well as the marching band's practice field.[4]

Other uses[edit]

In addition to the stadium's use for athletics, the areas underneath the stadium's seats are utilized for university offices and academic purposes. The East Stadium now houses the newly renovated Berney Family Welcome Center, while the West Stadium houses a newly built Purple Masque Theater.

Through the years, occasional concerts and band competitions have been held in the stadium.

Nick the ghost[edit]

There is a campus legend that the Purple Masque Theater is haunted by a ghost named "Nick", allegedly the spirit of a football player who died in the 1950s. Stories are told of boxes and chairs being shuffled, noises heard, and a fire extinguisher being expelled.[5] No player named Nick is recorded to have died at the stadium, but there are stories of deaths of players with other names that may have fed into the legend.[6]


  1. ^ a b Willard, Julius (1940). History of Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. Kansas State College Press. p. 419. 
  2. ^ a b c "Game-by-Game Results for Kansas State". James Howell. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  3. ^ Fitzgerald, Tim (2001). Wildcat Gridiron Guide: Past & Present Stories About K-State Football. ISBN 0-9703458-0-1. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Ghosts of Kansas State University
  6. ^ CatZone Virtual Stadium

Coordinates: 39°11′15″N 96°35′03.6″W / 39.18750°N 96.584333°W / 39.18750; -96.584333