April 11th, 2012 03:44 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
Tags: Kyle Field, Man Foundation, Missouri Faurot Field, SEC
Kyle Field is considered one of the best places to watch a college football game in America. But it might be on the way out.
Aggie president R. Bowen Loftin has announced that the school’s move to the SEC “has created a tremendous amount of excitement around Texas A&M, and we are seeing an unprecedented demand for football season tickets.” That has led A&M to begin a study of ways to expand, improve or perhaps even replace Kyle Field.
According to a university press release:
“The design study phase will explore various design options for Kyle Field, including plans for both a renovated stadium and a new stadium. The result of the study will provide Texas A&M and 12th Man Foundation officials with multiple design options for the future of the 83,002-seat stadium and will address stating of construction, preliminary cost estimating and construction timelines.”
Whoa, pardner. A&M might be wise to slow down the expansion train for just a second.
First — like a restaurant just opening its doors — A&M should expect early response to its SEC move to be good. The trick is getting people to come back again and again. If Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies have success, that should happen. If A&M fans see they can succeed in the SEC, that should happen. But there are no guarantees that either of those things will indeed happen. If the Aggies struggle upon entering the SEC, there could be a lot more empty seats at Kyle Field (or “New” Kyle Field).
Second — at a time when most people are talking about declining attendance at sporting events across the country, it’s probably not the best moment to be looking to expand a facility that already seats 82,000. We’re not talking about Missouri’s Faurot Field here. Kyle Field is big. In the future, HDTV could cut into the number of fans rushing through the building’s gates… just as it has at other schools.
Texas A&M’s enthusiasm is big, both from a ticket-demand perspective and from a let’s-improve-the-stadium perspective. But before Aggie brass get too far down the stadium expansion road, they should probably consider what would happen if their team falters and home entertainment systems continue to improve.
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