Aug. 31, 2010
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Fans attending Kansas State volleyball games this fall are sure to notice upgrades made in Ahearn Field House as the Athletics Department continues its effort to create the best fan experience in the Big 12 Conference.
Reserved chairback seats have been installed on the south side of the playing court in the field house while new bleachers with a backrest have been added to the north side. In addition, the court has been moved six feet to the north, allowing for more general admission seating in the balcony. The new seating is already proving to be a big hit with the fans as the chairbacks have been sold out for the season.
Other improvements include a huge, newly designed Powercat banner that hangs behind the north-side bleachers adding a splash of color and definition to the volleyball arena. Finally, as previously announced, Sodexo has been retained as K-State’s new athletics concessionaire for all venues and will provide fans an improved selection of snacks and refreshments at volleyball matches.
“We are very appreciative of our students, along with the Kevin Irsik Family and Dr. Clay Harvey, for their support of our student-athletes and these significant improvements to Ahearn Field House,” Athletics Director John Currie said. “We are continually searching for ways to improve our fans’ experience at all of our athletic venues, and certainly the new seating systems, cosmetic additions and enhanced concessions will provide a more enjoyable experience inside Ahearn this season.”
Currie and head coach Suzie Fritz both expressed their gratitude to the K-State Student Government Association for helping make the improvements possible through a one-time allocation of $70,000 in a matching challenge with the athletics department. Currie said student leaders expressed interest in helping with the project because the new seating will greatly enhance the historic on-campus arena that is famous for the participation and enthusiasm of K-State students.
A number of private donors contributed to the project as well, including the Irsik Family, who donated the Terina Irsik Memorial Court in 2004, and Dr. Clay Harvey. Both have been long-time friends and supporters of the program.
“We very much appreciate the continued support of our administration, as well as some very specially individuals, specifically Dr. Harvey and the Irsik’s, for their generous support of this project,” Fritz said. “The improvements to Ahearn are tremendous. It is going to provide an even more exciting environment and comfortable fan experience that is second to none.”
K-State opens its home schedule on Wednesday night when the Wildcats play host to South Dakota at 7 p.m. from the newly improved Ahearn Field House. Former Wildcats will also get a look at the improvements as part of the K-State Volleyball Reunion hosted by K-State Athletics, K-State Volleyball and the Ahearn Fund this weekend when the Wildcats host the Varney’s Kansas State Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The 7 p.m. match against Georgia Tech on Saturday will be part of a Wildcat Weekend promotion, and fans can get into the match for just $3 with their ticket stub from Saturday’s football game against UCLA.