Texas A&M already has a new conference and a new head coach. Could they also be getting an entirely new stadium?
Though not a likelihood at this stage, Houston Chronicle and CBSSports.com A&M RapidReporter Brent Zwenerman reports that right now "everything is on the table" when it comes to a planned renovation of venerable Kyle Field--including a complete demolition of the 95-year-old facility and the construction of a brand new stadium from scratch.
Asked last week about the chances of such a project forcing the Aggies to play elsewhere for a season -- possibly at Houston's Reliant Stadium -- Kevin Sumlin said that decision was above his pay grade, but did not rule it out as a possibility.
“Whatever the decision is, we're going to abide by it, knowing ultimately that we're going to have one of the finest facilities in the country," Sumlin said.
With president R. Bowen Loftin admitting the economic need to keep the Aggies in College Station, a demolition-and-rebuild isn't likely to be the first option. That honor probably belongs to a potential section-by-section renovation of Kyle Field, one that would keep it open throughout the project's duration. Constructing a new stadium on a separate, nearby site is another possibility.
"You don't want to take anything off the table," athletic director Bill Byrne said in January. "But the most likely scenario from my perspective is that we (renovate) in stages. A deck at a time."
Whatever plan is eventually adopted, construction is expected to begin at the close of the Aggies' 2013 football season. It's also a safe bet that the plan will be eye-opening and not cheap; the school has hired architectural firm Populous, whose other credits include Yankee Stadium and the Olympic Stadium for this summer's London Games.
But with excitement surrounding the Aggie program as high as it's been in recent memory, there's no blaming Loftin and A&M for striking while the proverbial iron is hot. And if they can do while preserving some semblance of the decades and decades of tradition at Kyle Field, so much the better.
HT on Chronicle story: TSK.
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