KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

Kyle Field's Future on A&M Regents' Agenda This Week

As the Texas A&M System Board of Regents takes up issues on the renovation of Kyle Field, no decision has been announced with regards to the future of the stadium.

Two days of meetings for the regents begins Thursday in Kingsville. Come Friday, the board could approve an amendment to the first phase of the renovation project for the Aggies' football home which would have it get underway during Fiscal Year 2013 instead of FY2014 as originally slated.

FY2013 began September 1, 2012 and ends August 31, 2013.

According to university spokesman Jason Cook, A&M officials continue to examine options for Kyle's renovation, and there is no timeline at this time for an announcement of a decision.

However, what appears to be off the table is what has long been deemed the least likely option: building a new stadium at a new location. The Regents' agenda shows a definitive map for the Kyle Field project at the current Kyle Field site. When asked whether a new stadium at a different site was still being considered, Cook simply referred to the map in the agenda.

Also in that listing is what is described as a "placeholder" $50 million that has been in the System's capital plan for Phase I, which preliminarily includes the following:

- demolition of the Read Building, G. Rollie White Coliseum, Netum Steed facility
- modified, upgraded utility services
- reconstruction of the west stands (field box seating, suites, club seating, loge boxes, new press box)
- pedestrian mall on exterior of west stands (including monuments, seating, premium tailgating)

A final cost would be determined at a later date once the full scope of the project is determined.

Three options with varying degrees of likelihood have been examined:

- build a new stadium at a new location
- renovate the current stadium in stages while keeping games there
- renovate the current stadium at once and move games to a different stadium

In January, A&M President R. Bowen Loftin told the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce's Economic Outlook Conference that a six-month study of the options would begin in just weeks to determine the best course of action.

"We are very sensitive to this community's impact that might arise from some changes at Kyle Field and construction issues that might arise from any changes we make," Loftin said at the meeting.

The same day, now-former athletic director Bill Byrne said building a new stadium at a different location was not a cost-effective option, and that moving games away from College Station was "way, way down as far as any priorities go."

In April -- six-and-a-half months ago -- Populous was chosen to lead the design study for Kyle. The 2012 London Olympics, the New York Yankees and all-but-three Southeastern Conference schools have used the company.

In August, Loftin told News 3 that while a move away from Kyle for renovations could not be excluded completely, it was also "not likely."

The next month, KBTX first reported that local government leaders had been called to meet with A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. They were told that a discussed price tag for Kyle's renovation was in the neighborhood of $425 million, and that Bryan, College Station and Brazos County could be asked to contribute a total of $38 million in that scenario. University officials emphasized that the numbers discussed in the meeting were simply preliminary and not at all final.

An Oxford Economics study commissioned by the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber estimated an $86 million loss to Brazos County were games to be moved away from College Station for a season, and a $173 million for two seasons.


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