Plans for the long-simmering Kyle Field expansion are on the cusp of being finalized at Texas A&M -- and they reportedly don't lack for ambition.
Per local TV station KBTX, the A&M Board of Regents is set to meet Wednesday and has a final vote on the expansion project "currently scheduled" for sometime after 6 p.m. ET. The vote would entail "possible approval of the project, its scope and its budget."
TexAgs.com reporter Billy Liucci tweeted Tuesday that the plan's "scope" will be wide enough to rank Kyle Field among the largest college football stadiums in the country:
Per A&M source, Kyle Field project will increase capacity to over 102,000.— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) April 30, 2013
Some wanted to see Kyle capacity in the 95K range, while others wanted closer to 103K.The decision is to go with the larger stadium.— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) April 30, 2013
An expansion to a capacity of 102,000-plus would represent an increase of approximately 20,000 seats to the current official number of 82,589 -- nearly a 25-percent bump. Not surprisingly, that sort of project won't come cheap, with some earlier reported estimates putting its price tag at as much as $450 million.
For an Aggie fanbase revitalized by the move to the SEC and Kevin Sumlin's thrilling 11-2 debut, even that kind of budget might qualify as money well spent. According to current official capacities, Kyle Field would become just the fifth college football stadium in the country to top 102,000 seats, joining (in order) Michigan Stadium, Beaver Stadium, Neyland Stadium and Ohio Stadium.
Assuming the Board follows through with approval, the official final capacity could surpass Neyland to make Kyle Field the largest stadium in the SEC. (Of course, whether they admit it or not, what will really matter to Aggie fans is that Kyle surpasses Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, which has a capacity just over 100,000.)
After initial fears that the current stadium could need to be demolished to make way for the new one -- forcing home games for one or more seasons out of College Station -- the current project is scheduled to be completed in eight-month installments between football seasons, allowing the Aggies to host home games as scheduled.
For more renderings of the project leaked from A&M athletics' fundraising arm, the 12th Man, click here.