With the recent success of the Kansas volleyball program – five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, a Final Four in 2015 and a Big 12 Championship in 2016 – the Jayhawks plan to add to their facilities and home arena, the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
The new construction and additions will give the stadium a 3,000 seat capacity, essentially doubling what Kansas holds now as they had a crowd of over 1,300 in their last home match against Creighton. It’s no coincidence that the new venue will hold 3,000, as per the NCAA rules:
“For first- and second-rounds, there is no seating requirement, however hosts must be able to meet all the seating requirements per the host operations manual. For regionals, the seating requirement is 3,000 seats.”
This almost came to be an issue last year, when Kansas earned the fifth overall seed from the NCAA Tournament committee. Had they been top-four and avoided a second round upset like they did to Creighton, they would have needed to host in another venue such as Allen Fieldhouse, the basketball gym, or an off-campus site.
Of course, it’s always a challenging decision to expand seating when having a smaller, tightly-knit environment since it can affect noise and fanfare, but for a Jayhawks team consistently selling out matches that shouldn’t cause a problem.
The expansion comes on the heels of a $350 million fundraising campaign over five years to go with a contract re-up with Adidas for over $190 million over the course of 14 years. Right off the bat, Kansas alumnus David Booth donated $50 million while Stewart Horejsi pledged $10 million to renovate the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena beginning immediately following this season.