LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas will spend next college football season playing on the road.
At least the Jayhawks' home games will be only a bit down the road.
With their old stadium being razed, and a new stadium anchoring a massive development project expected to open for the 2025 season, the Jayhawks had to find an alternate location for their home games. They decided to split them with its nonconference games being played at Children's Mercy Park, the home of MLS club Sporting Kansas City, and its four conference games being played across the state line at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Both of the stadiums are less than an hour drive from the Kansas campus in Lawrence.
The school initially thought it could play part of the season at Memorial Stadium while construction was ongoing. But that did not prove to be feasible, so Kansas moved all its home games in order to keep the progress on its new stadium on track.
“While we are disappointed we can't play in Lawrence, ultimately, we want to create the best possible experience for all involved,” Jayhawks athletic director Travis Goff said. "This decision allows that construction to continue on a necessary timeline while also benefiting the overall budget of the project and the 2024 fan experience.”
The Jayhawks will play Lindenwood and UNLV at the soccer stadium in Kansas City, Kansas, but the much smaller capacity of about 18,500 means that the school will not sell individual tickets for those games. They will only be part of season-ticket packages.
Their Big 12 games scheduled for Arrowhead Stadium will be against TCU, Houston, Iowa State and Colorado.
“I'm confident our fans will be able to create a home field that our players will be energized to play in,” said Kansas coach Lance Leipold, who led the Jayhawks to a 9-4 record with a victory over UNLV in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl this past season.
The new stadium is the centerpiece of a new campus gateway that will include multi-use spaces designed to generate revenue throughout the year. That includes a conference center, dining and retail space, office space and housing.
“While we had hoped to play these games in Lawrence, the move to alternate venues is needed to ensure that our fans, student-athletes and all constituents have the best possible gameday experience and that we stay on schedule to complete construction for the 2025 season," Kansas chancellor Doug Girod said. "We recognize this move is not ideal for some members of the Lawrence community, and we hope they will understand this is a necessary one-year move to ensure the Gateway District can begin benefitting Lawrence as soon as possible in 2025.”
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll