Kansas Board of Regents approves Wichita State’s request to raze Cessna Stadium


Manny De Los Santos/ The Sunflower

Cessna Stadium is 76 years old. It currently hosts Wichita State track and field events, the Kansas State High School Track and Field meet and other school related functions.

The Kansas Board of Regents has approved a request from Wichita State on Wednesday that will allow the university to demolish Cessna Stadium. The board passed the decision 9-0.

The stadium is 74-years-old.

WSU’s request said that the demolition of the stadium would cost roughly $1.4 million and the money would come from private and restricted fee funds. The university also said that the locker rooms located under Cessna Stadium would move into the new student-athlete center that is being constructed next to Charles Koch Arena and south of the stadium.

However, even with approval, WSU President Jay Golden said it doesn’t mean it will be torn down immediately.

“We’re not certainly doing it,” Golden said on Tuesday in a phone interview. “But before we can even go out at some point in the future to try and raise those funds from private donors – to do that, we first have to have the approval to be able to do it at some point in the future.”

The demolition will work in two phases, according to the proposal.

Cessna Stadium is the current home of the Shockers’ track and field teams and the Kansas 1A-6A State High School Track and Field Championships. It also recently hosted the 2018 American Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In relation with the high school championships, KSHSAA Executive Director Mark Lentz released a statement saying that he believes the state meet will still be on WSU’s campus.

“In discussions with WSU athletic administration, it is our understanding their intent would be to rebuild a stadium in the same campus footprint that would be suitable for future state track meets,” Lentz said. “We have been told that administration believes the eventual new stadium would have the capacity for all six classes to remain together for a championship track meet on the WSU campus.”

The stadium WSU is proposing would be smaller than Cessna, but will be multi-purpose to help attract local and regional soccer, lacrosse, and track and field events.