The Sunflower Showdown is contested each season between the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kansas State Wildcats. The game is one of the most anticipated of the season with the winner taking home state supremacy and the Governor’s Cup. One of the most contentious points in the rivalry took place in 1980 when the Jayhawks forfeited the 1980 meeting due to an ineligible player. To this day the Jayhawks count it as a win whereas the Wildcats count it as a loss. The Kansas State - Kansas game is the most intense game of the season, so make sure to make it to this one if you can only make it to one game.
The Kansas State-Iowa State rivalry dates back to 1917 and is the eighth longest continuous series in college football. Dubbed “Farmageddon” as a reference to the agricultural roots of each university, the game is one of the best to attend outside of the Kansas State - Kansas game. Join in on cheering the Wildcats against one of their biggest rivals by attending Farmageddon.
Wildcats Tailgate Guide
The atmosphere around Bill Snyder Family Stadium is palpable with school spirit, as many of the local hotels, restaurants, and bars exist solely because of the football program head coach Bill Snyder rebuilt. Many fans describe the atmosphere as not a typical day in Manhattan; the town, stadium, and campus are all alive with purple pride as kickoff approaches. So fire up your grills and crack open a beer in anticipation of the beautiful K-State game day that you’re about to witness.
The lots surrounding Bill Snyder Family Stadium are packed to the brim with grills, tents, coolers, and fans as everyone is abuzz with anticipation for the ensuing K-State football game. They provide ample parking space as the tailgate is the place to be on game days in Manhattan, Kansas. The town lives and breathes Wildcat football as just about everyone you’ll meet on game day is wearing purple to show off their Wildcat pride. Don’t worry if you’re a visiting fan though as K-State fans are pretty nice, and you’ll most likely only receive some good-natured teasing. Head on down to the parking lots for one of the best tailgating experiences in the great plains.
The Hall of Athletics is a great display of Kansas Jayhawks athletic history. From championship ring collections to trophies, this is a must see for any college sports fan. It is an excellent way to experience the rich tradition of the Jayhawks. The best part about the Hall of Athletics is it’s free!For those who would rather pregame at bars and restaurants then Aggieville is the place for you. With multiple options to choose from, this six-block stretch has a lot to offer in terms of pre and post game activities. There is also a shuttle service to and from Aggieville for your convenience.
Found outside the main entrance on the west side of the stadium the statue of Bill Snyder is a great tribute to the best football coach in the program's history. Stop by and grab a picture with the man who turned the K-State football program around.
Overlooking Kansas State is what is known as the K Hill, a large mountainside featuring the letters K and S. The Hill oversees the campus and is a historical part of Wildcat tradition. The Hill showcases the pride the town of Manhattan, Kansas feels for their beloved Wildcats.
Where to tailgate
General Admissions and Reserved LotsThere is ample room to tailgate in the parking lots surrounding Bill Snyder Family Stadium, so set up your grill, tent, and cooler and join in on the pregame fun. The RV lot on the east side is a particularly fun place to be as you’ll see some of the large tailgate vehicles K-State has to offer there.
AggievilleFor those who would rather pregame at bars and restaurants then Aggieville is the place for you. With multiple options to choose from, this six-block stretch has a lot to offer in terms of pre and post game activities. There is also a shuttle service to and from Aggieville for your convenience.
Wildcats Stadium Guide
The people of the Little Apple live and die with Wildcats football. It’s the biggest thing in town on Saturdays in the fall and it certainly shows. Wildcat football is such a big deal in Manhattan that a lot of the town’s industry including bars, restaurants, and hotels revolves around it. With football being such an important part of the town’s identity you better believe that the fans here are not only some of the most passionate fans out there, but also some of the most knowledgeable as well.
It’s not just the fans that make attending K-State a special experience, but the ongoing renovations to Bill Snyder Family Stadium are quickly making it one of the premier stadiums in the Big 12. The Bill Snyder Family Stadium has been in the process of its master plan since 2011 and will see a complete revamping the athletic campus of Kansas State University. The plan will keep the stadium modern and timeless, while also upgrading it to make it one of the best and most beautiful stadiums in the country. The phases of the plan can be reviewed here so keep coming back to the stadium to see the new additions and renovations.
Opened in the fall of 2013, the West Stadium Center features amenities for Wildcat fans such as concessions, restrooms, a fan store and the Hall of Honor. Also located in this building is the Tailgate Terrace, premier seating areas, and all inclusive restaurant/bar lounges.
While at the game, be sure to check out the Kansas Wildcats Ring of Honor, located on the East side of the stadium. The first class was inducted in 2002 beginning what is shaping up to be a great Wildcat tradition. The Ring of Honor is a great symbol of Wildcat pride as they honor the greatest athletes to have ever donned the royal purple.
In 1992, K-State installed a new press box, and the public announcer began a now popular Kansas State tradition. After a Wildcat first down, the announcer proclaimed “Good for a Wildcat first down!” Now it is Wildcat tradition for the fans to finish the statement once the announcer has started it.
Willie has been the Wildcats official mascot since 1947 and today can be seen performing throughout the game. Some of his most famous antics include crowd surfing and doing push ups after the Wildcats score. Look for Willie to energize the crowd in order to give the Wildcat that extra bit of enthusiasm they need.
The Pride as they are commonly known are one of the best marching bands in the country and even won the Sudler Trophy, which is awarded to the top band in the country, in 2014. The band’s show is worth the price of admission alone, so stay glued to your seat as you wouldn’t want to miss it.
From the great Atlantic ocean to the wide Pacific shore
From the queen of flowing mountain to the south bell by the shore
She’s mighty tall and handsome and know quite well by all
She’s the combination on the Wabash Cannonball
She came down from Birmingham one cold December day
As she rolled in the station you could hear all the people say
There’s a girl from Tennessee she’s long and she’s tall
She came down from Birmingham on the Wabash Cannonball
Our estern states are dandies so the people always say
From New York to St. Louis and Chicago by the way
From the hills of Minnesota where the rippling waters fall
No changes can be taken on the Wabash Cannonball
Here’s to daddy Claxton may his name forever stand
And always be remembered ’round the courts of Alabama
His earthly race is over and the curtains ’round him fall
We’ll carry home to victory on the Wabash Cannonball