The A&M System Board of Regents has approved a $450 million dollar redevelopment of Kyle Field, which keeps home football games in College Station.
Sam Torn of the 12th Man Foundation told the regents this will be the most extensive and expensive renovation in the history of college football, but when completed, Kyle Field “will become the most intimidating environment”.
But the funding package wasn’t accepted by everyone. A half dozen leaders of the A&M student body spoke to the regents against increasing the university advancement fee.
President Bowen Loftin revealed at Wednesday’s meeting the reason for the $30 dollar a semester increase was going to Kyle Field. Dr. Loftin said other mandatory fees would be lowered. And once bonds were paid off the advancement fee would be reduced.
A view of the field which will be lowered to accomodate more seats.
An aerial view of the redeveloped area.
The east facade during the march-in.
The northeast plaza.
Another view of the east side with the King Gill statue.
The view from what will be called Victory Street.
Texas A&M University today received approval from the A&M System Board of Regents to proceed with one of the largest college football stadium redevelopments in history, with a project cost of $450 million and a future stadium capacity of 102,500.
The renovation and expansion of Kyle Field will start immediately following the 2013 football season and is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2015 season. The Aggies will continue to play at the historic stadium, which dates back to the 1927 season and has a current capacity of 82,589, during the entire construction process.
“Today we celebrate Texas A&M and our many partners coming together to make history,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “We have committed to making Kyle Field the premier college football stadium in the country, as well as an incredible facility to showcase our flagship university, our unique traditions and the incomparable spirit of the 12th Man. This stadium will reflect the dominant prestige and power of Texas A&M University.”
A new façade will envelope the stadium, with new exterior plaza/mall areas that will enhance tailgating and stadium access and demonstrate Texas A&M’s core values and significant moments in Aggie football history. Inside the stadium, there will be increased chair-back seating and additional suites, loge boxes and premium seating with club areas, along with the elimination of virtually all sightline issues. Other amenities will include the latest gameday technology, wider concourses, additional restrooms and enhanced concession areas.
“As we have seen with Texas A&M’s transition into the Southeastern Conference, athletics can play a key role in increasing the visibility of the entire university,” said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. “The Kyle Field project is yet another element of enhancing Texas A&M’s profile.”
The project is a joint effort of the 12th Man – the 31,000 Aggie students who make the gameday atmosphere at Kyle Field one of the top in the country – the 12th Man Foundation and the Bryan-College Station community, with support of the A&M System and the Board of Regents.
“In my short time here in Aggieland, I have witnessed firsthand how Aggies respond to challenges and opportunities. This significant project is a shared vision and shared experience for all of our fans,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman said. “Upon completion, we will have immense pride in Kyle Field. It will be unmatched anywhere in the country, with Texas A&M’s history and traditions woven throughout the stadium and its surroundings.”
Added Aggie head football coach Kevin Sumlin: “We are very excited about the upcoming redevelopment at Kyle Field. When I returned to Aggieland, I said that the atmosphere at Kyle Field is second to none. This redevelopment makes a statement about the commitment of all Aggie fans to our football program. With the 12th Man standing ready, the Spirit of Aggieland is real, and the fans really make a difference to our current players as well as our future recruits.”
Major milestones for the Kyle Field project are as follows, with construction sequenced and phased to allow the playing of regular home football games in the stadium for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons:
Phase I (November 2013): Demolition of the first deck of the east side of the stadium, re-construction of the first deck, and construction of the south endzone, which will include seating, media interview areas, 12th Man Productions and related gameday support, a commissary and recruiting area.
Phase II (November 2014): Demolition of the entire west side of the stadium, complete construction of the south endzone, and re-construction of the west side.
Grand Opening (August 2015)
Other significant items included in the scope of work for the Kyle Field redevelopment include:
Demolition of the Read Building, G. Rollie White Coliseum and the Netum Steed strength and conditioning facility, all of which are adjacent to or part of Kyle Field;
Construction a new strength and conditioning laboratory training area on the university’s west campus;
Lowering of the playing field by approximately 7 feet and relocation of the playing surface approximately 18 feet to the south.
Relocation the existing south end zone scoreboard and video board reusing appropriate components to provide a scoreboard facility on the exterior of the north end zone structure. New interior scoreboard locations will be established in the south end zone and the northeast and northwest corners of the developed stadium.
Construction of widened tree-lined walkways along both side of Houston Street from George Bush Drive to the stadium east mall area.
Funding will come from donations and seat licenses through the 12th Man Foundation, student fees/ ticket revenue and a preferred facilities access agreement between the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau (BCSCVB) and Texas A&M. The agreement will utilize hotel tax revenue for the next 30 years with payments of $1 million from years 1 through 3, $1.2 million in years 4 through 6, and $1.225 million in years 7 through 30. In return, the BCSCVB will be able to use certain Texas A&M facilities at preferred rates for promoting tourism in Brazos County.
Kyle Field, named for Edwin Jackson Kyle, who served as Texas A&M’s dean of agriculture and athletic council president, has been the home of the Aggie football team since 1927. Kyle Field was initially expanded in 1967 to include two decks of grandstands, and the third decks were added to the east and west sides in 1980. Most recently, the stadium was expanded in 1999 to include the $32.9 million north end zone expansion, known as the Bernard C. Richardson Zone.
This project is subject to approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.