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Texas A&M Hires Populous, Stadium Options Include Renovation Or Demolition

Texas A&M Hires Populous, Stadium Options Include Renovation Or Demolition

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A section-by-section renovation of Kyle Field is one of Texas A&M's primary options
Texas A&M yesterday said that architectural firm Populous “will be charged with devising the blueprints for renovating or completely rebuilding” Kyle Field, according to Brent Zwerneman of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Right now “everything is on the table” for the facility and construction “will likely start following the 2013 season.” The primary options “include a section-by-section renovation of Kyle, building on another nearby site, or tearing down Kyle and starting from scratch on the same plot of earth [where] the Aggies have played football since 1905.” Tearing down the venue would mean the Aggies “might play the 2014 season or perhaps even two seasons at Houston's Reliant Stadium, with maybe a handful of games at the Alamodome or Arlington's Cowboys Stadium mixed in.” Texas A&M intends to pay for the renovation or rebuild "through bonds eventually paid for by suites and upper-scale editions.” A&M hopes to “have a definitive plan in place from Populous sometime early in the fall” (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 4/12). In Austin, Suzanne Halliburton noted Populous has “worked on more than 300 collegiate projects, including 11 members of the newly revamped 14-team SEC.” The company has been “asked to form a plan to increase seating capacity, generate revenue, improve fan amenities, develop fire and safety requirements as well as introduce new multi-use opportunities for the stadium” (STATESMAN.com, 4/11). Kyle Field was “built in the late 1920s and was expanded in 1967, 1980 and 1999” (AP, 4/11).

WINNING ALL AROUND: In Memphis, Kyle Veazey wrote taxpayers and City Council members “were winners” in last week's announcement that the Univ. of Memphis and FedEx will help facilitate a $249M improvement plan at the city-owned Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, as this “doesn't involve money coming out of the general fund.” The university “wins, too,” because its “$500,000 annual commitment looks as though it's stepping up financially, but reality suggests that the Tigers may never have to come close to actually spending that if the Tourist Development Zone revenues come in as expected.” Also, “its home football stadium is improved.” Veazey: “It'll never be gleaming, but a new video board and a shinier overall look will help close the gap in the minds of recruits and may draw more fans, too.” The city is more so the “facilitator of the deal, and at risk only in the unlikely event that the UofM can't follow through on its guarantee.” The school “bore the brunt of the risk on this project and the two other tenants will benefit." Liberty Bowl Exec Dir Steve Ehrhart reiterated that his game “was willing to help with the funding.” Ehrhart added the plan was an "important step." Southern Heritage Classic Dir Fred Jones said that he was “looking forward to providing a better fan experience” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 4/8).

NEW ADDITIONS: Houston Baptist Univ. President Dr. Robert Sloan said that the school “plans to move forward with building an on-campus football stadium.” He also said that the project "would be in phases, beginning with construction of a practice field that will eventually be the site for a 10,000-seat stadium.” In Houston, Joseph Duarte noted HBU will “rent a venue for the first few years” of the school’s new football program. HBU AD Steve Moniaci said that the school has “conducted informal discussions with officials with BBVA Compass Stadium” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/10).

TWEET TWEET: YAHOO SPORTS’ Graham Watson noted the Univ. of Michigan will add the "hashtag #GOBLUE to each of its 25-yard lines for its spring football game.” Michigan “isn’t the first team to do this” as Mississippi State put “#HAILSTATE in its end zones” for last year's game against Ole Miss (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/11).