Plans for Kyle Field Redevelopment
(according to multiple sources)
Texas A&M is set to announce plans for its major renovations of Kyle Field over the next few years.
That could come as early as Wednesday when the A&M System Board of Regents is scheduled to consider -- and possibly vote on -- renovations to Kyle Field at its board meeting on the College Station campus. A press conference has been tentatively scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Agenda Item 12 for the board concerns Kyle's redevelopment, including possible approval of the project, its scope and its budget. A vote on that item is currently scheduled for some time in the 5:00 p.m. hour Wednesday.
During this off-season, multiple sources with connections to Aggie Athletics tell News 3 the plan is for buildings around Kyle Field, including G. Rollie White Coliseum, to be torn down to make room for development on the stadium. The Netum Steed and Read buildings around Kyle have also been on the chopping block.
The 2013 season will be played before major work on the stadium itself is done, according to the sources, who say the phase in the next off-season will include the tear-down and rebuild of the lower section of the east stands of the stadium where students sit. The second and third decks were built to stand on their own with some extra support put in place, so they do not need to be torn down.
In addition, a new development on the south end of Kyle will be built following the 2013 season, according to the sources. Currently, there is limited, field-level seating and the large scoreboard and video screen on the south end. New stands, office space, scoreboard(s) and video screen(s) are set to be built, thus enclosing the open end of Kyle's horseshoe.
Construction on the east and south ends are due to be complete before the 2014 season, according to the sources. Kyle Field would be at its largest capacity ever.
Then, following the 2014 season, the west stands and press box would be torn down and rebuilt in time for the 2015 season. Plus, the field would be lowered and shifted. Early estimates had the lowering at seven feet and a move of the field 18 feet south.
When construction is all said and done, Kyle's capacity would be at an estimated 103,000, sources say. Currently, the Southeastern Conference's largest stadium is Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee, which holds 102,455. Only the University of Michigan (109,901) and Penn State University (106,572) have stadiums that hold more.
The plans the sources detailed for News 3 have been discussed with stakeholders and athletics department officials as recently as two-to-three weeks ago, and there have been no indications of changes since then.
In late 2012, the university put out requests for proposals on the Kyle project, which included the possibility of the demolition of the west stands and a rebuilding that would include suites, boxes, chair-back seating, an open area on the ground level for large gatherings and premium tailgating, and a new press area.
Under the RFP, the south end could feature new facilities for 12th Man Productions and the press, a locker room and recruiting room, and 12,000 seats at first, with the potential for 7,000 more in the future.
On the east side, the RFP noted a potential replacement of the lower seating bowl and the addition of 20 suites.
In December, Manhattan-Vaughn Construction was chosen by the System as the construction partner for the project. The group has worked on Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and Reliant Stadium in Houston, among others. Populous had previously been chosen as a design firm.
In January, News 3 first reported that College Station, Bryan and Brazos County would increase their hotel occupancy tax rate by 0.75 percent over the length of the bond issued for Kyle's redevelopment in order to help pay for the project. That would provide an estimated $36 million.
In total, the project has been estimated anywhere from $400 million to $450 million.