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Texas A&M Football

'Megaphone to the World': A&M reveals plan for Kyle Field's future

May 1, 2013
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Kyle Field is the home of the 12th Man. 

In three years, it will be the home of 102,500 12th men.

On Wednesday night at a press conference at the Memorial Student Center, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp and President R. Bowen Loftin formally announced plans for a $450 million renovation project to expand and beautify the Aggies’ venerable football stadium.

The project, approved earlier in the day by the A&M System Board of Regents, will increase Kyle Field’s seating capacity by almost 20,000 and put it among the nation’s largest college football stadiums. Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, Ohio State, Texas, Alabama and UCLA (Rose Bowl) also have stadiums with six-figure seating capacity.

Kyle Field is a megaphone to the world whether you like it or not. ... This stadium, this football program and athletic program is going to match the status of Texas A&M University. And this megaphone we’re fixing to build is going to be the loudest on the planet. - A&M system chancellor John Sharp {"Module":"quote","Alignment":"right","Quote":"Kyle Field is a megaphone to the world whether you like it or not. ... This stadium, this football program and athletic program is going to match the status of Texas A&M University. And this megaphone we’re fixing to build is going to be the loudest on the planet.","Author":"A&M system chancellor John Sharp"}
When the project is completed, Kyle Field will be the largest football stadium in the state of Texas and in the Southeastern Conference.

The project will include a new brick façade with exterior plazas that will provide a much more aesthetic appearance and enhance stadium access.

Sharp said it would be “the most magnificent football venue that exists anywhere on this planet.”

“I’m so proud that the regents have produced this today and that Aggies working together have produced an unbelievable stadium,” he said. “Kyle Field is a megaphone to the world whether you like it or not. If you don’t think it’s easier to recruit professors after they see Johnny Manziel and bring the status of Texas A&M all over the world up then you don’t know much about public relations.

“This stadium, this football program and athletic program is going to match the status of Texas A&M University. And this megaphone we’re fixing to build is going to be the loudest on the planet.”

The renovation project will begin immediately after the 2013 season ends and is expected to be completed in time for the 2015 season.

The project will include more chair-back seats, suites, boxes and premium seating with club areas. There will be wider concourses, additional restrooms and enhanced concessions. The playing field will be lowered by approximately seven feet and relocated about 10 feet to the south.

Further, new scoreboards will be added and tree-lined walkways along Houston Street will be constructed.

Revenues to fund the project will be raised through donations, seat licenses, student fees, ticket revenue and local hotel taxes. Athletic Director Eric Hyman said that a fundraising campaign that began about three months ago is already off to a fast start.

“If this is any indication of the future, I think we’ll all be excited,” he said.

Andrew Cagle, TexAgs.com The project will both expand and beautify a stadium that was already one of the nation's most tradition-rich, coinciding with A&M's rise to prominence. {"Module":"photo","Alignment":"left","Size":"large","Caption":"The project will both expand and beautify a stadium that was already one of the nation\u0027s most tradition-rich, coinciding with A&M\u0027s rise to prominence.","MediaItemID":32806}
Some questioned whether Texas A&M needed to a 100,000 seat stadium, but both Loftin and Hyman felt that the capacity made sense because of A&M’s relatively young alumni and a continued growth.

“We have a very different type of mix than other universities do," Loftin said. When you have 31,000-plus students attending a game … that is unusual. That is the issue right now. 

As the university continues to grow and our alumni base continues to grow, that obviously points to increasing demand for seats. The natural growth of our alumni base is really important. We have 390,000 living alumni and many of them are within this part of the country, so access is not that difficult to the venue we’re talking about here.”

Hyman used a hockey legend as an analogy to endorse the size of the expansion project.

“If you look at it from the totality of things, there are healthy discussions on this and you analyze it and you evaluate and you go back and forth, but when it’s all said and done, it’s like Wayne Gretzky said — it’s not where the puck is, it’s where you want to hit the puck,” Hyman said.

“When you look at the growth of Texas A&M and you look at what the future has in store and how many graduates we’re going to be putting out, this is a facility that will be able to meet the needs. It’s something we’ll grow into eventually.”
 
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