The Texas A&M System is exploring a renovation of Kyle Field that would keep games in College Station, but local governments would have to contribute money to the project.
A source with knowledge of the discussions says there was a meeting Monday called by Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. Included in the meeting were city and county leaders; among them were College Station Mayor Nancy Berry, Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski and Brazos County Judge Duane Peters.
At that meeting, the source says a price tag on a potential plan for Kyle Field renovation was cited at $425 million. Games would still be played at Kyle during the construction.
Also discussed was A&M's desire to get $38 million from the local governments to help fund the project if this discussed plan is the one used going forward.
"My hope is that they keep the games here. We don't have any extra money to funnel that direction. It would have to be some new way to bring money in,” said Brazos County Judge Duane Peters.
A&M is currently in the midst of a six-month study to see what should happen to its football stadium. Possible options are to renovate Kyle in stages while keeping games there, renovating it to the extent that games would need to be moved for at least a season, or building a new stadium at a new location. A firm was hired in April.
School officials continue to stress that no decision has been made concerning the stadium, and that options are still be discussed.
An economic impact analysis commissioned by the B/CS Convention and Visitors Bureau and the B/CS Chamber of Commerce was released Tuesday. It cited the potential impact locally for a season away from College Station.
According to the source, a pair of options to pay for that $38 million from the local governments was discussed. One was instituting a venue tax, which could go up to two percent. However, the source says that may not be an option because the limit may already have been reached for money going to the Brazos County Expo. Officials are looking into that currently.
Another option would be creating a ticket tax, which could go up to 10 percent and would only be placed on those who purchase tickets to the games.
A second source with knowledge of the meeting says A&M is aiming for anywhere from 93,000 to 103,500 seats in the renovated Kyle. The project would take anywhere from two to three years.
In statement, Sharp said,“We had a very productive discussion with city and county leaders yesterday concerning the future of Kyle Field. There are a myriad of decisions to be considered and I am pleased that we have begun the process."
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