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

The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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‘One is silver, and the other gold’

AT%26T+Stadium
Photo by Creative Commons
AT&T Stadium

When I was young, my favorite restaurant was Whataburger. I didn’t care that it was only a fast-food burger joint or that it offered a less-than-stellar atmosphere, I was more concerned with the food itself.

On one particular occasion, I was out with my dad on a business trip and was given the freedom of choosing where to eat lunch. Rather than picking an upscale restaurant, I went with my personal favorite, Whataburger. 

The Texas A&M football team faces a similar proposition this weekend. On Saturday, the Aggies open up their conference slate against Arkansas in AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Cowboys Stadium. Jerry World. Arguably the most highly regarded stadium in America and, at $1.3 billion, one of the most expensive. 

Some of the Aggie freshmen will certainly be in awe when they step out on the revolutionary GreenFields turf for the first time, as they should be. Everything about it is state-of-the-art, from the video board to the incredible retractable roof.

But an underlying question surrounding this weekend is evident: which is a better football stadium, AT&T Stadium or the new Kyle Field?

Ask A&M chancellor John Sharp, and there’s no question about it. He answered the question right off the bat in the unveiling of Kyle Field.

“Welcome to the finest football stadium in the United States of America,” Sharp said in his opening statement in the Kyle Field ceremony on Sept. 10.

A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis, who has coached in both stadiums, echoes a similar tone when talking about the Aggies new-and-improved stadium.

“There’s not a better venue to play college football anywhere in the country,” Chavis said at the Aggies’ weekly press conference leading up their home opener against Ball State.

Kyle Field has a larger capacity than the AT&T Stadium, 102,733 to 85,000 — the latter can expand to 105,000 for large events, but Kyle Field has the advantage for actual number of seats.

The most impressive thing about the AT&T Stadium is its vast array of different luxuries. The massive video board stretches for 80 yards — about the size of two basketball courts — and is one of the largest in the world. The jaw-dropping arches that surround the stadium provide beautiful road-side appeal and are more than twice the size of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. The colossal 120-by-180 feet glass end zone doors take only six minutes to open.

Jerry World offers a plethora of first-class amenities. But don’t forget about Kyle Field — it has some pretty neat bells and whistles too.

The recent reconstruction gave the home of Aggieland new and improved seating accommodations around most of the stadium as well as plenty of suites and field boxes. 

Also, comfortable cooling rooms are sprinkled around the stadium to give fans a place to get away from the Texas heat and a revolutionary WiFi system is installed that is supposed to be the best in any college or NFL stadium.

And finally, the closing of the south end — which gives Kyle Field a true bowl shape — means that the crowd noise can stay in the stadium instead of traveling into College Station. Already known as one of the loudest stadiums in college football, Kyle Field is now arguably the NCAA’s most intimidating stadium.

Simply put, Kyle Field has its fair share of frivolities as well.

The AT&T Stadium is a more luxurious venue -— it offers fans a more comfortable experience. But the actual football game is played on the field, not in the stands. The players don’t care about a massive video board, the slew of terrific food options offered inside the stadium or any of the other things that the AT&T Stadium boasts.

The Aggies should wholeheartedly enjoy this experience, no doubt about it. The players get the privilege of stepping on the same field where Tony Romo and Dez Bryant play the majority of their games. The coaches have the opportunity to stand on the same sidelines that Jason Garrett, Bill Belichick and basically every high-profile NFL coach has paced on Sundays.

But just like I enjoy a high-dollar steak whenever I get the chance to have one, I always have my tried and true — a cheeseburger, french fries and a root beer — to fall back on. Because I don’t care about the glitz and glamour associated with a restaurant or a particular delicacy, I just care about how the food tastes.

No matter how much money is poured into an NFL stadium, for the players, it’s still 100 yards long. For the fans, there is simply no atmosphere like Kyle Field. 

And for both, there is no better place in America to call home.

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