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The Battalion

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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Intimidation beacon

 
 

When the Texas A&M Board of Regents voted in favor of a $450 million renovation of Kyle Field on Wednesday, expectations for everyone at the school were raised.
From University President R. Bowen Loftin to Athletics Director Eric Hyman, from the 12th Man Foundation ticket marketing team to A&M students and fans, every single person involved has a vital role in the renovations that will make Texas A&M home to the biggest stadium in the state and the third largest in the country.
One very important group that shouldn’t bear any of the weight from this multi-million-dollar decision is the Texas A&M football team.
Riding the wave of its biggest season in program history, the football team needs few additional distractions going forward. If the 2012 season was marked by newness, the 2013 season will be remembered for its expectations.
Many will say it is the job of head coach Kevin Sumlin and quarterback Johnny Manziel to make the Kyle Field decision worth making with a strong 2013 season. In reality they already have.
Before week one of the 2015 football season, Kyle Field will be a 102,500-seat work of art.
The school is capitalizing on the buzz and success of one football season that no one expected. An 11-win season, a Heisman Trophy and the No. 2 overall NFL draft pick were all results of the 2012 season. Kyle Field’s makeover is no different.
But instead of putting the pressure on the football team to play otherworldly because of the first rate venue, the pressure should be placed elsewhere.
Loftin and Hyman referenced the renovated stadium as a “megaphone” for the University and it will be their job to use it to the school’s advantage.
“As we have seen with Texas A&M’s transition into the Southeastern Conference, athletics can play a key role in increasing the visibility of the entire university,” Loftin said. “The Kyle Field project is yet another element of enhancing Texas A&M’s profile.”
With the addition of nearly 20,000 seats, the 12th Man Foundation is confident it can market the renovations so no seat will be left empty. A&M’s biggest fear has to be letting this stadium have empty seats against the South Carolina States and Sam Houston States of the college football world.
Perhaps most importantly, Texas A&M’s fans, students and former students alike, will have the biggest expectations of them all. The playing field will be lowered seven feet and seats will be closer than ever to the players on the field. An enclosed stadium means one of college football’s loudest venues could do the unthinkable and become even more deafening.
The weight of this new Kyle Field falls on everyone but Sumlin and Mr. Johnny Football. Sure, it will be used as a recruiting tool for the Aggies going forward and will be the scene of iconic wins in the future.
But in order to make the renovation worth its expenses, Kyle Field has to remain a beacon of everything Texas A&M and remain a booming hate barn that no team in the country wants to enter on Saturdays in the fall.
The play on the field will take care of itself, but the intimidation and attention to Texas A&M will begin with each person in the 102,500 seats of Kyle Field two football seasons from now.

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