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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) - The Aggies are on their way to getting a bigger home for their 12th Man. Kyle Field was approved for expansion by the Texas A&M Board of Regents on Wednesday. The expansion project will cost approximately $450 million and increase seating to 102,500, making Kyle Field the third-largest football stadium in the country and the largest in the SEC and Texas.
“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 in a press release. “The Kyle Field project is yet another element of enhancing Texas A&M’s profile.”
The project will begin November 2013, immediately following the end of the season, and will completed in time for the 2015 football season. Former University of Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin, entering his second season with Texas A&M after finishing 11-2 last year, is happy with the school’s level of commitment to football.
“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,” said Sumlin.
Construction will be done in phases and timed so that all regular home football games can be played in the stadium during the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons. Major highlights of the Kyle Field project are as follows:
- 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 of 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 of 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.
The new and improved Kyle Field already has its own website (www.kylefield.com) complete with photos, information about ticketing, and a FAQ section.