COLLEGE STATION Kyle Field is almost complete for it's season opener Saturday against Rice, and it's expected to be a sweltering kickoff. More than 80,000 are expected to pack the stadium, and halftime temperatures are expected to approach triple degrees. That can be a recipe for a health disaster if fans aren't prepared. Now, Texas A&M is trying to help fans keep cool in the blazing heat.
"You know by the end of the game, we are going to be over 100 degrees and with heat indices even higher than that," said Mike Caruso, Texas A&M Associate Athletic Director for Events and Game Operations.
He said there will be misting fans on all decks of Kyle Field. "Everyone will be impacted because at noon, the sun will be over us," Caruso said.
The school said they are doing everything in their power to make sure fans can safely enjoy the game; including turning the McFerrin Athletic Center into the largest cooling station A&M has ever had. The building takes the place of the Read Building where the cooling station used to be located.
Caruso said Aggie fans looking to find a little relief from the heat Saturday should go the the McFerrin Athletic Center right across from Kyle Field. Saturday, plenty of medics will be on hand to help anyone suffering from heat illness.
Caruso said gameday guests are allowed to take mini fans into the stadium as well as bring in one liter or less of sealed, bottled water. However, an A&M official said if someone brings an unsealed gallon of water, which a lot of students have done in the past, they will let it slide and let them in bring in it.
Dr. Garry Gore with Scott & White College Station says hydration is key to preventing heat illness. He said he's impressed that A&M has taken such measures to keep its fan's safe.
"I think it's probably the most significant public health move that A&M has made for football fans in the entire history of A&M football," Dr. Gore said.