Populous Selected for Kyle Field Redevelopment by Texas A&M, 12th Man Foundation
February 2, 2012
Texas A&M University and the 12th Man Foundation have engaged Populous to lead the design study phase for the renovation and redevelopment of Kyle Field, recognized as the nation’s top college football gameday experience and “Home of the 12th Man.”
Populous, one of the world’s premier sports facility design firms, has a portfolio of more than 300 collegiate projects, including work on 80 football stadiums. Eleven of the 14 future Southeastern Conference members have previously worked with Populous, including the University of Alabama (expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium), Louisiana State University (expansion of Tiger Stadium) and the University of Florida (expansion of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium). Populous-led projects also include Yankee Stadium and the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games main stadium.
“Our move to the SEC has created a tremendous amount of excitement around Texas A&M, and we are seeing an unprecedented demand for football season tickets,” said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin ’71. “Our football weekends will provide us with a key vehicle for introducing people around the country to Texas A&M, and we are committed to ensuring that Kyle Field reflects the unique traditions and Aggie spirit embodied by this world-class institution.”
The design study phase will explore various design options for Kyle Field, including plans for both a renovated stadium and a new stadium. The result of the study will provide Texas A&M and 12th Man Foundation officials with multiple design options for the future of the 83,002-seat stadium and will address staging of construction, preliminary cost estimating and construction timelines. Additionally, the Populous team will conduct marketing research related to the stadium project and will provide recommendations with respect to sponsorships, operations and technology related to Kyle Field.
“We feel the Kyle Field stadium redevelopment is wholly unique in that together we have the opportunity to help define a new path for Texas A&M’s future in what could become one of the most significant redevelopment projects in all of American sport,” said Populous Senior Principal Earl Santee, AIA, who will personally oversee the project. “Our plan for this project looks forward to the next 50 years and is innovative, comprehensive and full of passion. We will seek to define the meaningful moments of Aggie Football: the traditions, the fans and the environment that create the best authentic sporting experience.”
Texas A&M and 12th Man Foundation officials have charged Populous to examine several strategic goals: developing an increased fixed seating capacity, understanding existing structural conditions, generating additional revenue, improving fan amenities, developing a plan to address fire and life safety requirements, improving ingress/egress, and developing multi-use opportunities. All parties have also committed to maintaining Kyle Field’s uniqueness, while striving to enhance fans’ overall experience on game day.
The design study phase will begin immediately, with comprehensive construction potentially beginning following the 2013 football season. Texas A&M officials note, however, that some minor construction will occur in and around Kyle Field prior to the 2012 season.
“President Loftin has referred to Texas A&M’s move to the SEC as a 100-year decision, and now we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redevelop Kyle Field,” said M. Scott Taylor ’69, chairman of the 12th Man Foundation’s board of trustees. “Given the magnitude and historic significance of this project, we want to be thoughtful and measured as we move forward, and we believe that Populous is the ideal partner to assist us with this project.”
Texas A&M recently announced that season tickets for the 2012 football campaign – the Aggies’ first as a member of the SEC – were sold out, marking the earliest sellout of season tickets in school history. Last season, Texas A&M shattered several attendance records at Kyle Field, including five of the top 10 single-game attendances. For the first time ever, all games at Kyle Field were sold out, with an average attendance of 87,183, ranking 10th nationally.
Kyle Field, named for Edwin Jackson Kyle, who served as Texas A&M’s dean of agriculture and athletic council president, has been the home of the Aggie football team since 1927. Kyle Field was initially expanded in 1967 to include two decks of grandstands, and the third decks were added to the east and west sides in 1980. Most recently, the stadium was expanded in 1999 to include the $32.9 million north end zone expansion, known as the Bernard C. Richardson Zone.
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