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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opening night yields technical problems with Kyle Field

Bryan+Johnson+%26%238212%3B+THE+BATTALIONThis+football+season+will+be+in+the+middle+of+the+two+year+renovation+of+Kyle+Field.%26%23160%3B+There+were+some+technical+problems+during+the+first+game+are+being+addressed.
Bryan Johnson — THE BATTALIONThis football season will be in the middle of the two year renovation of Kyle Field.  There were some technical problems during the first game are being addressed.

The rollout of Kyle Field, fresh off an offseason renovation, was greeted with fanfare and a record crowd. But several hiccups, including problems with audio and concessions, cropped up through the weather-delayed blowout over Lamar.
Jason Cook, senior associate athletics director for external affairs, said many of the problems resulted from the transitory state of the construction efforts.
“This season is a transition season in the redevelopment of Kyle Field,” Cook said. “It’s a two-phase project, so we’ve completed the first phase and then after this season we will start the second phase of the redevelopment. There are several things that are going to come along with it being a transition season.”
Several spectators said the stadium audio was either too loud or not loud enough.
“I thought it was hard to hear from inside the stadium and especially from up that high,” said applied math matical sciences freshman Christian Ott. “I had friends who were on the first deck and they were saying it was really loud so it might have just been our seating.
Cook said officials have worked to fix the sound levels this week, but said audio problems existed even before the redevelopment began.
“Our audio system is a mixture of the old system and the new system, so obviously we had some inconsistencies in the system throughout the game,” Cook said. “That’s something that we’re certainly working on addressing this week.”
Another problem involved concession stands running out of certain items.
“I went down right before halftime and they were out of a few things,” Ott said. “Halftime seems a little early for them to run out of items.”
Cook said concessions is working toward fixing the problem and said the weather delay was a huge component behind the issue.
“The inclement weather was a unique challenge for our concessions staff,” Cook said. “It caused a two-hour ‘halftime rush’ for the first game in the history of the redeveloped stadium, which created an unusual and unpredictable amount of volume.”
TVs in the Kyle Field suites broadcasted the SEC Network, but some fans were disappointed that they were unable to see the stadium video board feed. Cook said the issue stems from a current lack of technical capability.
“Our productions facilities for the video board is still under construction, and so we’re operating the video boards out of a mobile 18-wheeler for this game and all the games this season, so we have some technical limitations for the first game that we were working through,” Cook said.
Some fans cited overcrowding and poor crowd management.
Nicholas Cuellar, political science freshman, said his biggest complaint was the crowding before the game.
“Coming in was bad — it was crowded, people everywhere, people looking for their seats and their sections numbers,” Cuellar said.
Cook said handling the crowds will be an ongoing challenge, but since the capacity of Kyle Field was increased by 29 percent, spectators should expect some issues along the way.
“Obviously we will have some bumps in handling the increased crowds,” Cook said. “But I think overall it was truly a magical night at Kyle Field.”
Caylea Reynolds, supply chain junior, said even though the game wasn’t perfect, the stadium was still a vast improvement over pre-renovation Kyle Field.
“There were a lot more seats in the student section, which is awesome,” Reynolds said. “Also I thought it was great that they have the air-conditioned concession stands with the fans in there, especially for when it’s really hot at the beginning of games.”
Cuellar said he still had a great time and really enjoyed the new Kyle Field.
“It was amazing seeing the 12th Man together, seeing the yell leaders, seeing the whole core unified seeing the student body together like that,” Cuellar said. “It was just incredible. No other college in the world can be like A&M in their traditions and just the love for the football team.”
Cook said he encourages students to come out again Saturday for the game against Rice.
“I think that the main thing is that Kyle Field is very different than it was in the past,” Cook said. “But it’s still the home of the 12th Man.”

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