Serving as a cultural, social, and athletic mecca for the football-crazed residents of Manhattan, Kansas, Bill Snyder Family Stadium is the raucous home of Kansas State Wildcats football.
The stadium was rededicated in honor of legendary coach Bill Snyder before he roamed the sidelines for what was supposed to be his final game in 2005. When asked his opinion of renaming the venue in his honor, Snyder famously and modestly said, "If you are going to do it, name it after the people I care about most."
With KSU struggling in the seasons immediately following his departure, Snyder resumed his old position in 2009, becoming the only head man in the FBS to coach in a stadium named in his honor.
Since Snyder took the reigns of Wildcat football in 1989, KSU has ascended near the top of the college football mountain, consistently ranking among the nation's top programs on a season to season basis. Given the daunting task of traveling to K-State country and playing in front of 50,000 rabid and purple-clad fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, the program's success is hardly surprising and poised to last a long time.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The most underwhelming aspect of a visit to Bill Snyder Family Stadium is undoubtedly the selection of available food and drink.
Concessions offer a typical array of stadium fare, complete with hot dogs ($3.75), bratwursts ($4.50), and snacks like popcorn, nachos, peanuts and pretzels ($4 each). The stadium serves Coke products, a large soda is $5.50 (with price declining by $1 for each size), and bottled water costs $3.50.
The concessions are fairly priced, but aside from locally grown kettle corn, there's almost nothing unique among them. Hot chocolate ($5) was readily available, though, and those ill-prepared for 60 degree temperature with consistent wind gusts in mid-September appeared grateful.
Lines move quickly, vendors are hospitable, and food is warm. In a charming and esteemed college town like Manhattan, however, one expects a local flair to stadium food and Bill Snyder Family Stadium lacks it.
There's nothing like big time football in a small college town that craves it and everyone in Manhattan bleeds K-State purple. The entire town comes together on Saturdays in the fall, creating an undeniably contagious sense of buzz and anticipation for the coming game.
Aggieville, Manhattan's justifiably loved and well-known downtown block of local bars and shops, bursts at the seams prior to and after gametime. Fans arrive in the surrounding parking lots of Snyder Family Stadium hours before kickoff to tailgate, party, and put their purple pride on full display with fellow Wildcat faithful.
Not a late-arriving crowd by any stretch, K-State fans are in their seats early for pre-game traditions. There's mass participation for several patriotic gestures, the KSU alma mater, and the school's fight song, "Wildcat Victory." Chaos ensues during the "Wabash Canonball" "" a wacky but unique tradition that includes fans lunging forward and back opposite one another "" and as the Wildcats take the field to Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train," an anthem missing during Snyder's absence but, not coincidentally, back since his return in 2009.
Fans are active participants throughout the game, celebrating and hand-gesturing for KSU first downs and rising to their feet to spur on the Wildcat defense during critical plays. After K-State touchdowns, fans echo one of the best but lesser known chants in the Big XII, "KkkkK SsssS UuuuU," each letter drawn out for emphasis and maximum haunt.
To be blunt, the atmosphere at Bill Snyder Family Stadium is without a doubt one of the most underappreciated in college football. While it can't come close to matching the likes of LSU's Tiger Stadium or Michigan's Big House in sheer numbers, it comes close in participation, excitement, and "" for lack of a better term "" blood thirst. K-State's, surely, is an atmosphere that should not be missed.
Located just outside the Kansas State campus, Bill Snyder Family Stadium is immediately surrounded by vast fields and parking lots. That does little to diminish the effect of nearby Aggieville, though, one of the country's true college town treasures.
Concentrated into a small, four block area are over 100 local shops, restaurants, and bars, all loyal to Kansas State. Fans, students, and alumni make Aggieville a busy, purple sea on Saturdays, and it's easy to see why. Grab an early beer and sandwich while watching football on the patio at Porter's, buy a hat and jacket for the game at Ballard's, then finish off your pre-game Aggieville experience at Kite's, a bar and grille which has been a second home of Cats fans for over 40 years.
For a college town, there may not be a more appropriate, useful, or picturesque district than Aggieville, the Little Apple's answer to Times Square or Fifth Avenue. Be sure to stop by before the game, after, or both "" you won't be disappointed.
As previously mentioned, KSU fans are immersed in the action of the game from kickoff until the final whistle blows. They don't just uniformly chant, cheer, and sing, though "" they react with furor to questionable calls by the referees, become incensed on defensive third downs, and in general make life as miserable as possible for the Wildcats' opposition. This is a true home-field advantage, and Snyder's stellar record at home over his two-decade-long tenure as head man is an indication of such.
The most impressive and endearing aspect of Kansas State's fan base, though, is the unity they display throughout football Saturdays. If you're wearing purple, you're family, whether you're walking the street, lunching in Aggieville, or tossing a football while tailgating. Football games are a family reunion for the KSU faithful, but one that's 50,000 strong and rife with hospitality and humility. In the Big XII, there's nothing else like it.
Not surprisingly, traffic can become a bit of an issue on gamedays in a place like Manhattan. There are several access points to multiple stadium parking lots, but back-ups are inevitable approximately an hour before kickoff, like it is most anywhere on Saturdays in the fall.
Parking, too, is what you'd expect for a well-attended college football game. Premium spots mere yards from the stadium's front gates are reserved for donors, but it hardly creates a problem for the average fan. There's plenty of parking availability in every direction surrounding the stadium, and if arriving early you're likely to land closer to the gates than farther away.
Once inside Snyder Family Stadium, seats are accessed with relative ease. A wide, open concourse encircles the field, and there are several entryways to seating on all sides of the playing surface. Beware if traveling with youngsters or the elderly, though: it could be a trek up or down the stadium stairs before finding your seat.
Whether a KSU alum, a fan of the opposing team, or simply a college football fanatic, taking in a game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium will be an undoubtedly positive experience. The raucous, supremely involved crowd and overall atmosphere in Manhattan makes for one of the most unique and rewarding gamedays in the midwest. Combine that with a very modest ticket price of $35 for a reserved seat (Big XII; $20 non-conference), and you leave Wildcat country making out like a bandit.
One extra point goes to Kansas State's Vanier Football Complex, a state of the art facility built in 2007 housing a weight room, player locker rooms and lounges, and the KSU Ring of Honor.
The east entrance to Snyder Family Stadium also deserves special mention. The massive facade serves as a worthy gate to the imposing and intimidating confines of the stadium.
It can't be stressed enough: there's no place I'd rather be on an autumn Saturday than Aggieville. For all its charm and brilliance, add another point.
I love Manhattan- it is a great college town, with wonderful fans, and the famous Aggieville. The basketball experience certainly outshines the football experience, but a trip to Manhattan, KS is a good idea regardless...
I discuss with review.
Food is greatly improved and getting better!!
Options are improved, greater variety, service has improved......I know WANT to eat at the staduim. Pass outs need to be eliminated to help improve the fan experience.
EMAW! BTW, K-State is a Pepsi school not a Coke as it has been mentioned. The Pepsi contract began in the 1990s.
718 N Manhattan Ave
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1641 Anderson Ave
Manhattan, KS 66502