Wichita State University is undertaking a $7.3 million Phase 1 renovation of Wilkins Stadium, home of Shocker women’s softball.

The Wilkins Stadium masterplan project will bring state of the art training and playing facilities to Wichita State softball student-athletes and coaches. 

The renovations include a 12,471ft2 team complex which includes a locker room, coaches locker room, classroom, team room, athletic training room, staff offices, break room, work room, umpire locker rooms and laundry area. 

It will also include a 14,400ft2 indoor practice facility that will feature a full indoor infield and batting cages along with storage areas and viewing areas for coaches. Turf will also be installed in the outfield and on the warning track, foul territory and apron areas at Wilkins Stadium in June of 2023. 

Fan amenities include an enclosed concourse with a grand front entrance, berm outfield seating, a new scoreboard with videoboard, expanded seating areas, suites and press box, ticket office, concession stands, additional restrooms, merchandise store, fan netting and outfield suites. There will be a variety of seating options for 1,500 fans including chairback seating, bleacher seating and berm outfield seating as well as a new entryway into the parking lot connected to Wilkins Stadium.

The stadium renovation will also include a field technology area, spaces for the media, radio and TV booths, control room for the videoboard and a multi-use suite that can be used for multiple types of groups including recruiting events, team events, private companies, community members and other large groups.

The single-storey team complex will be constructed on the southwest corner of Wilkins Stadium with the indoor practice facility built just north of the team complex.

Phase 1 of the project will include the softball team facility and the indoor practice facility at $7.3 million, Phase 2 will include the entrance/press box/ticket office and seating areas at $1.9 million, Phase 3 will include the remodelling of existing facilities/seating/fan experience elements at $3.5 million and Phase 4 will include the outfield area/event pavilions and paving at $700,000.

Construction estimates place the total at $13.4 million, with an additional $3.4 million for project soft costs, and $750,000 for the videoboard to put the total project at $17.5 million.

The upgrades are being made possible in part through a substantial $1.1 million estate gift from long-time Shocker athletic supporter and fan Linda Parke and a generous $100,000 gift from Jeanie and Ricky Brotherton.

Wichita State director of athletics Kevin Saal said:

Over the last 18 months, Wichita State University has strategically invested significant resources in our softball program, intending to maximise immediate support and compliment the competitive growth our coaches and student-athletes have worked so hard to achieve. 

From renewed commitments to Coach Bredbenner and her staff, to new batting cages, lights, future home dugout and synthetic grass surface (to be installed upon conclusion of the 2023 season), we have invested over two-million dollars in our softball program.