Tuesday, June 17, 2014

KU officials discussing track removal at Memorial Stadium

Now that Kansas University's track and field teams have a new home at Rock Chalk Park, KU officials are looking into the possibility of removing the track from Memorial Stadium, seen here on Wednesday, July 12, 2012.

Now that Kansas University's track and field teams have a new home at Rock Chalk Park, KU officials are looking into the possibility of removing the track from Memorial Stadium, seen here on Wednesday, July 12, 2012.


Kansas University football fans have long clamored for the removal of the track surrounding the field at Memorial Stadium. Now that the new track-and-field facility at Rock Chalk Park has become a reality, KU officials may be close to making a move.

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger, on hand to discuss the basketball team's selection for the 2015 World University Games, confirmed on Tuesday that he and his staff were in the process of looking into taking out the track.

“Right now, we're gathering information,” Zenger told the Journal-World. “The staff has done a great job of researching what we could do affordably and within reason as an intermediary step to our greater renovation project, and I want to make sure that Coach (Charlie) Weis thinks whatever we do is advantageous to the program.”

Although nothing is official yet, if Zenger and company were to decide to move forward with removing the track, doing so quickly could lead to getting it out of there in time for the beginning of the upcoming season. The specifics of what KU would do aesthetically after removing the track, should it happen, remain unknown and are very much a part of the information gathering process Zenger referred to.

Such a move would not be tied directly to the much anticipated full-scale renovation project at Memorial Stadium that, at least for now, remains a ways off.

In April, Zenger talked to the Journal-World about “clearing the deck” of all other projects so that all attention could be put toward the stadium. Zenger also mentioned his hope that some momentum from the football program could help spark the fund-raising process for the bigger project.


Priest Fontaine 4 years ago

Should have been done years ago. Need to lower the field and add more seats that get the fans up close to the action which is really important for home field advantage, not to mention fan experience and premium ticket sales.

Dirk Medema 4 years ago

The bowl of the stadium is really flat. It needs to be rebuilt with more enclosure to improve acoustics and home field advantage. Secondary benefit is it reduces the foot print to allow more room outside for other uses.

Robert Brock 4 years ago

Meh. Why remove the track when there are no plans to lower the field and change the stadium design? Unless Zenger wants to replace the track with a moat just for fun...

Mark Lindrud 4 years ago

Can we light the moat on fire when the visiting team comes out?

Lance Cheney 4 years ago

Now that would be awesome! And it would set us apart from all other stadiums.

Jim Erickson 4 years ago

Great first step, but it's the first of many before Memorial Stadium can even be called respectable in comparison to our Big 12 peers. Removing the track, lowering the field level to get seating closer to the field, doing something better than a chain link fence for the south end zone, putting up the previously proposed "Gridiron Club", redoing the concourses, doing something to the outside area to improve parking and tailgating... We have a LONG ways to go.

I wonder if Anschutz has 100 million dollars he needs to get rid of? :)

Randall Uhrich 4 years ago

Put in a moat and have boat races. Cool.

Scott Morgan 4 years ago

Not sure I know why they want the track gone, but the history is amazing. Kansas Track used to have a world wide fame. Hope they figure out how to honor all those who set records on it.

Jim Ryan warmup area, Glenn Cunningham finish line, Big Al Oerter throwing areas, Wes Santee, Billy Mills, the pole vaulters were nothing to sneeze at either. These are outdated times, but very very few tracks in the world can boast these distances and times.

100 Meters (M) Leo Bookman, Kansas, 2004 10.04 (W) Muna Lee, Nike, 2005 11.1 200 Meters (M) James Mallard, Alabama, 1980 20.15 (W) Marlene Ottey, Nebraska, 1981 22.61 400 Meters (M) Devon Morris, Wayland Baptist, 1986 45.12 (W) Suziann Reid, Nike, 2005 52.95 800 Meters (M) Victor Lacis, unattached, 2000 1:48.22 (W) Leann Warren, Oregon, 1981 2:01.30 1,500 Meters (M) Rick Wohlhuter, Chicago Track Club, 1976 3:38.62 (W) Nadesha Raldugnia, USSR, 1983 4:08.94 3,000 Meters (W) Svetlana Ulmasova, USSR, 1983 9:13.50 3,000 Meter Steeplechase (M) Randy Smith, Unattached, 1976 8:33.94 (W) Trina Cox, Unattached, 2007 10:07.30 5,000 Meters (M) Kipsubai Koskei, Unattached, 1980 13:40.35 (W) Patty Murray, Western Illinois, 1986 16:03.27 10,000 Meters (M) Simon Kilili, Unattached, 1978 28:56.90 (W) Amber Anderson, Unattached, 1995 34:41.33 100-Meter Hurdles (W) LaShinda Demus, Nike, 2005 12.93 110-Meter Hurdles (M) Dominique Arnold, Nike, 2005 13.33 400-Meter Hurdles (M) Bershawn Jackson, Nike, 2005 48.67 (W) Nawal El Moutawakel, Iowa State, 1984 55.67 400-Meter Relay (M) HSI, 2000 38.45 (W) Nebraska, 1983 43.94 800-Meter Relay (M) Philadelphia Pioneers, 1980 (880 yards) 1:21.55 (W) Barton County CC, 2000 1:33.63 1,600-Meter Relay (M) Philadelphia Pioneers, 1980 3:03.67 (W) San Diego Track Club, 1987 3:36.57 400-Meter Shuttle Relay (W) Nebraska, 2001 54.02 4x110-Meter Shuttle Relay (M) Nebraska, 2001 59.10 Two-Mile Relay (M) Oklahoma State, 1965 7:21.44 (W) Villanova, 1984 8:46.62 Four-Mile Relay (M) Arkansas, 1977 16.19.64 (W) Wichita State, 2006 20:48.33 Sprint Medley Relay (M) Eastern New Mexico, 1973 3:15.74 (W) Southwest Missouri State, 2001 (1,600 m eters) 3:50.74 Distance Medley Relay (M) Kansas, 1969 9:33.24 (W) Michigan, 1993 11:32.61 High Jump (M) Hollis Conway, Unattached, 1987 7-07 ft. (W) Julieanne Broughton, Arizona, 1990 6-02.25 ft. Long Jump (M) Kenny Harrison, Kansas State, 1987 26-8.50 ft. (W) Halcyon McKnight, Kansas, 1982 21-10.25 ft. Triple Jump (M) Kenny Harrison, Kansas State, 1988 55-11 ft. (W) Trecia Smith, Jamaica, 2002 45-07.75 ft. Pole Vault (M) Joe Dial, Athletics West, 1987 19-04.75 ft. (W) Andrea Dutoit, Unattached, 2004 14-03.25 ft. Brysun Stately, Nebraska, 2007 14-03.25 ft. Discus (M) Jim McGoldrick, Texas, 1976 208-09 ft. (W) Penny Neer, Coast Athletics, 1991 199-11 ft. Javelin (M) Ed Kaminski, Nike, 1996 251-04 ft. (W) Dana Olson, Houston, 1982 192-08 ft. Shot Put

Lucas Town 4 years ago

There you have it...we should have built a new football stadium and let Memorial Stadium remain as the prominent venue for track and field. In the above post there is more history, success and records in track then our football team can boast.

Bryce Landon 4 years ago

Agree completely. A new 75,000-seat stadium would have spoken volumes about our commitment to football.

Dirk Medema 4 years ago

The stadium does not have the area to allow for a world class track. As great as it was for a competitive setting, it is no longer possible for Memorial Stadium to be a world class T&F setting. We're already talking about having elite events at RCP.

Mark Lindrud 4 years ago

It has been confirmed by a reliable source that we will start playing games at the hot gates of Thermopylae. That way the vast numbers of the blue chip bowl bound talented opponents will count for nothing when we play! We will only need to bring 300 of our best football fans. THIS IS KANSAS!!!!

Jeff Worthington 4 years ago

If anyone actually read Scott's entire post then they have too much time on their hands.

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