The hype for Texas A&M football this year was near an all-time high. After the football season ended -- the turf's tenure at Kyle Field was, too.
“It's not about the grass,” said Dallas Shipp. “It’s about all the things that happened on the grass; it's a piece of Texas A&M history.”
It took crews 12 hours to harvest the field from Kyle so that Aggie Fans across the state could stake claim to the grass.
“I’m going to build a planter for it and engrave it with Kyle Field.
Online sales began October 14th with a limited number of single squares of grass sold for $20 each. Leo Goertz is the athletic field maintenance manager for Texas A&M and says the sale was fast and furious.
"I know we had half of it sold within 24 to 48 hours,” said Leo Goertz.
Each harvested pallet of about 450 square feet of sod went for $400 bucks.
"I've got a little nephew now, Turner, who is a die-hard Johnny fan so I had to get him a piece as well and I got my grandmother some too since it was her birthday,” Shipp said.
This first phase of the $450-million dollar redevelopment includes changes to the east side and student section, as well as building a new south end zone seating section, essentially enclosing the stadium.
“It's amazing how much they've already done in the last 24 hours since we left Sunday at 2 o'clock,” said Goertz.
Goertz has been with the university since 1978 and to say that he's seen changes is quite the understatement.
“The lower deck is 1927, the second deck is 1967 and I was here in 78 when the third deck went on,” said Goertz.
The project construction schedule has been phased to allow the 2013, 2014 and 2015 home schedules to be played at Kyle Field in College Station.
“The bleachers in the end-zones are already gone,” said Goertz. “They're already digging eight feet down in the field and probably a quarter of the east side deck is already gone.”
It's a bold plan that will take a few years, but Goertz says it's one that's well worth the wait from the field of Kyle all the way up.
“We won’t be able to put the new field back in until sometime in June and we’ll have about a six week window to lay new sod during the second week of July and then have about four weeks before our first scrimmage,” said Goertz.
Fifty-one percent will be funded by annual seat licenses, 27 percent will be funded by Kyle Field Campaign gifts, 17 percent will be funded by Texas A&M students and 5 percent will be funded by the local government agencies.
Seating capacity is expected to be 102,500 for the 2015 season.