Kyle Field: Wikis

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Kyle Field
Home of the 12th Man
Kyle Field-empty 2006.jpg
Location Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843
Coordinates 30°36′36″N 96°20′25″W / 30.61°N 96.34028°W / 30.61; -96.34028Coordinates: 30°36′36″N 96°20′25″W / 30.61°N 96.34028°W / 30.61; -96.34028
Opened 1927
Owner Texas A&M University
Operator Texas A&M University
Surface Tifway Bermuda Grass[1]
AstroTurf - (1969-95)
Natural grass - (1927-68)
Capacity 83,002[2]
(Largest Crowd: 88,253) [3]
Tenants
Texas A&M Aggies football (NCAA) (1904-present)

Kyle Field is the football stadium located on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. It has been the home to the Texas A&M Aggie football team in rudimentary form since 1904, and as a complete stadium since 1927. It is known as The Home of the 12th Man. Kyle field has a stated capacity of 83,002 (the thirteenth largest stadium in the NCAA), but has hosted crowds in excess of 88,000.[4][5]

Contents

History

Kyle Field ca. 1920

Beginning

In the fall of 1904, Edwin Jackson Kyle, an 1899 graduate of Texas A&M and professor of horticulture, was named president of the General Athletics Association. Kyle wanted to secure and develop an athletic field to promote the school's athletics. Texas A&M was unwilling to provide funds, so Kyle fenced off a section of the southwest corner of campus that had been assigned to him for agricultural use.[6] Using $650 of his own money, he purchased a covered grandstand from the Bryan fairgrounds and built wooden bleachers to raise the seating capacity to 500 people.[7][8]

On November 10, 1904, the Texas A&M Board of Directors set this area as a permanent athletic field,[9] which served as the home for the football and baseball teams. After the stands were built, students supported naming the field after its founder and builder.[10] Although some believe that the field was instead named after Dr. J. Allen Kyle, a member of the Board of Directors from 1911-1915, the Board of Directors decreed that Kyle Field was in fact named for E.J. Kyle '99.[11]

In 1921, the November game between the Texas Aggies and their archrival the University of Texas at Kyle Field became the first college football game to offer a live, play-by-play broadcast.[12]

Facility improvements

An expanded Kyle Field with three decks and a new field lighting system in 2007

The Aggies enjoyed an undefeated season in 1919, accumulating a combined score of 275–0. Aggie supporters began to clamor for a stadium, but only $2,400 was raised by 1920. In 1927, the school chose to build a new stadium, at a cost of $345,001.67.[13]

The new stadium—the lower half of the current structure's west grandstand—opened later that year. In 1929, grandstands were added on the north and west ends, turning the facility into a 33,000-seat horseshoe. Capacity was raised to 35,000 in 1954 when a partial second deck and a pressbox were added at a cost of $346,000. More of second deck and other improvements were added in 1969 to raise the capacity to 49,000 at a cost of $1,840,000.[14] In 1974, two large flagpoles were added at the south end of the stadium in memory of Lt. William B. Blocker, Texas A&M class of 1945.

Expansion continued in 1979, when a third deck was added to Kyle Field, bringing the capacity to 72,000. Construction took place during the football season, and students were allowed into the area as each row of seating was added. In 1981, 16-foot (4.9 m)-high letters spelling out "KYLE FIELD" were installed.

The Bernard C. Richardson Zone was added in 1999 at a cost of $32.9 million[15] raising the capacity to 82,600. For high-demand games, temporary bleachers are installed in the south end zone and folding chairs are placed on the sidelines. The record for the largest crowd at Kyle Field was 88,253, set November 23, 2007 against the University of Texas.[16] In the fall of 2003, the Bright Football Complex was completed on the south end of the stadium. The facility includes a players' lounge overlooking Kyle Field, dressing rooms, one of the largest training and rehabilitation facilities in the country, and a state-of-the-art academic center.[3]

The field had a grass surface until 1969, when Astroturf was installed.[14] It returned to a grass surface in 1996.[3] Since that time, the turf has consistently received praise from players and coaches. For their efforts, the groundskeepers were honored in 2004 as the winners of the STMA College Football Field of the Year.[17]

Notable events

Red, White, and Blue Out following September 11 attacks

On November 26, 1999, just one week after the collapse of the Aggie Bonfire, the Aggies beat the fifth-ranked Texas Longhorns 20–16 in an emotional comeback game before a then-record crowd of 86,128.[18][19] Two years later, on September 22, 2001, the first game for the Aggies after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the students organized a "Red, White and Blue-Out." Students assigned each deck a different color (red on third deck, white on second deck, and blue on first deck) to wear for the game against Oklahoma State. Despite the short notice, attendees followed the instructions, resulting in a red, white, and blue stadium. More than $150,000 was raised in shirt sales, which was donated to FDNY charities.[20]

Intimidating venue

Kyle Field is regarded as one of the most intimidating college football stadiums in the nation.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] CBS Sportsline listed Kyle Field as the nation's best with a perfect score in three categories (atmosphere, tradition, and fans).[32] Contributing to its reputation in the 1990s, Texas A&M boasted one of the nation's best home records at 55-4-1, including 31 straight wins at Kyle Field from 1990 to 1995 and 22 straight from 1996 to 2000. From 2000 to 2006, however, the record of Texas A&M at Kyle Field is 29–16 (a winning percentage of .644, down from .932 in the 1990s).[33]

It is ranked as the #4 stadium in the nation by The Sporting News[34] and is considered one of the most intimidating stadiums in the Big 12 Conference.[35] The college recruiting ranking service Rivals ranked Texas A&M as having the seventh-best home field advantage in the nation with Kyle Field.[36] In 2002, ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit listed Kyle Field's atmosphere the best in the nation.[37] In addition, Texas A&M has been rated No. 17 in the nation by The Princeton Review in the category "Students Pack the Stadiums."[38]

Stadium features

Bernard C. Richardson Zone

Bernard C. Richardson Zone

The Bernard C. Richardson Zone, named for a 1941 petroleum engineering graduate and a Texas A&M Distinguished Alumnus, is located at the North end of Kyle Field, replacing the former single-deck horseshoe which connected the east and west wings of the stadium. This $32.9 million expansion added over 20,000 seats, and sits 65 feet (20 m) closer to the field than the previous seating. The Zone opened at full capacity during the 1999 grudge match against Texas, setting a then-state-record of 86,128 fans attending. For the next several years the Aggies saw consecutive record-breaking attendance figures for the season.[3][15]

The ground level of The Zone contains the Texas A&M Sports Museum, the nation's only all-sports museum funded primarily by former athletes (The Texas A&M Letterman's Association). The museum contains rotating exhibits focusing on various varsity sports at Texas A&M, while permanent exhibits trace the history of the school sports and some of the more treasured traditions.[39]

The Zone contains four levels of seating areas, with the first and fourth deck containing bench seating. One deck is comprised completely of luxury boxes, while the last deck is armchair seating. Known as The Zone Club, the 1900 open-air armchair seats are considered the premier seating area of Kyle field. The Zone Club sits underneath the fourth deck, meaning the inhabitants are protected from rain, wind, and the blazing Texas sun. The area boasts a full-service bar and concession areas, with a pre-game buffet offered for those with seats in the area. The Zone Club also has sixteen televisions stationed in various areas so that attendees can also keep an eye on other games being played around the country.[40]

Press box

Press box located on top of west deck

The Kyle Field press box has won numerous honors as one of the finest in the nation. It is located at the top of the west deck of the stadium, sitting over 120 feet (37 m) above the field. The pressbox has two tiers, accommodating over 250 members of the press, with print journalists stationed in the upper tier and radio and television journalists sitting in the lower tier.[3]

During the singing of the Aggie War Hymn, in which Aggie fans link arms and sway in unison throughout the stadium, the entire west upper deck (including the press box) actually sways, even though the press box is supported by three concrete pillars. This often startles journalists who haven't covered an Aggie home game before.[41][42] In 2003, the Press Box was declared a high-rise building, and Texas A&M was forced to renovate it to meet federal, state, and local regulations regarding fire safety and the Americans with Disabilities Act.[43]

12th Man TV

12th Man TV

During the 2006 offseason, the older Jumbotron was removed and replaced by a 3,954-square-foot (367.3 m2) Mitsubishi Diamond Vision enhanced resolution LED videoboard, the second largest in college athletics and one of the ten largest in the world. The Texas A&M Athletic Department has dubbed the new screen "12th Man TV," although some fans refer to it as the "Gigatron".[44] The 110-foot (34 m) tall structure contains 590,000 pixels on 154 video panels with a screen size of 74 ft (23 m) by 54 ft (16 m). The athletic department also updated the media equipment to allow production and broadcast of enhanced definition video to the screen. This addition to Kyle Field was accompanied by LED ribbon boards were installed along the facade of the second deck encircling the stadium. At 1,130 feet (340 m), it is the longest ribbon board in collegiate sports and second worldwide only to LandShark Stadium in Miami.[44] In conjunction with this project, additional upgrades included video board upgrades to Reed Arena and Olsen Field.

Reveille cemetery as seen from Kyle Field

Reveille

When the first Aggie mascot, Reveille, died, she was buried in the north end of Kyle Field so that the score of the Aggie football games was always visible from the site. Subsequent Reveilles were buried alongside her. Construction of the Bernard C. Richardson Zone construction and demolition over the mascot graves, so the graves were moved temporarily across the street from the stadium. Following the completion of the addition, an improved graveyard was dedicated directly outside the Zone and a small electronic scoreboard was mounted on the Zone so that the score would remain visible.[45] When a current or former Reveille passes away, a military funeral is held at Kyle Field. Over 10,000 people attended the service for Reveille IV.[46]

Pageantry

Among the myriad of traditions at Texas A&M, before each home football game, the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets places 55 American flags along the upper decks of Kyle Field in honor of the 55 Aggies who perished in World War I.[47]

Other events held at Kyle Field

During summers, young athletes are invited to Kyle Field for football training camps. In the fall, the stadium plays host to various Texas high school football playoff games. The stadium is also home to the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets annual Parent's Weekend Review and Final Review.[17] It is also the venue for the "Cross-Town Showdown" high school football game between the Bryan Vikings and the A&M Consolidated Tigers, arguably the most popular game of the Vikings/Tigers football season. Traditionally the last game of each team's football schedule, beginning in the 2006 season, Texas A&M University requested that the game be held earlier in the year so not to interfere with Aggie games. Kyle Field also hosts the Texas A&M University football team for the Maroon & White practice scrimmage during Parent's Weekend each spring.

On April 8, 2009, the USA FIFA World Cup Bid Committee announced Kyle Field is being considered in a list of 70 potential stadiums should the United States receive the bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.[48]

References

  1. ^ http://www.statesman.com/news/content/sports/stories/longhorns/02/15/0215bohls.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=54
  2. ^ "A&M boasts trio of talented tailbacks". http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D92REV682.html.  
  3. ^ a b c d e "Kyle Field". Official Website of Texas A&M Athletics. http://www.aggieathletics.com/facilities/kylefield.html. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  4. ^ "Darrel K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium". Mack Brown Texas Football. http://www.mackbrown-texasfootball.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=37&url_subchannel_id=&url_article_id=29&change_well_id=2. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  5. ^ "Crowd sets attendance records". Austin American-Statesman. 10 September 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-09-10. http://web.archive.org/web/20061202075039/http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/sports/stories/other/09/10/10texattend.html. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  6. ^ Perry, George Sessions. The Story of Texas A. and M., p.127.
  7. ^ Perry, p.127
  8. ^ Dethloff, Henry C., A Centennial History of Texas A&M University, 1876-1976, p.505.
  9. ^ Minutes of the Board of Directors, November 10, 1904, I, 288.
  10. ^ Perry, p.128
  11. ^ Dethloff, A Centennial History of Texas A&M University, 1876-1976, p.506
  12. ^ Schultz, Charles R.. "First Play-by-Play Radio Broadcast of a College Football Game". WTAW. Archived from the original on 2006-11-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20061111180739/http://www.wtaw.com/history.php. Retrieved 2007-05-08.  
  13. ^ Ousley, Clarence. History of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, p.84
  14. ^ a b Dethloff, A Centennial History of Texas A&M University, 1876-1976, p.524
  15. ^ a b "Images from Texas A&M". Texas A&M University. Archived from the original on 2007-03-03. http://web.archive.org/web/20070303100024/http://www.tamu.edu/00/tamu-images/trois07.html. Retrieved 2007-02-28.  
  16. ^ "Kyle Field Attendance Records (since 1970)". Texas A&M University Athletic Department. http://www.aggieathletics.com/index2.php?SID=MFB&pageID=900. Retrieved 2007-05-08.  
  17. ^ a b "Kyle Field's turf the "13th man"?". Sports Turf. 2004. http://www.greenmediaonline.com/uploads/st/features/0509_foy.asp. Retrieved 2007-02-28.  
  18. ^ "Lone Star Showdown: 112th UT vs A&M game Friday". News 8 Austin. November 23, 2005. http://www.news8austin.com/content/your_news/default.asp?ArID=150435. Retrieved 2007-04-30.  
  19. ^ "Aggies Top No. 5 Longhorns Before Record Crowd, 20-16". Texas A&M University Athletic Department. November 26, 1999. http://www.aggieathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/112699aaa.html. Retrieved 2009-04-02.  
  20. ^ Texas A&M University Athletic Department (September 22, 2001). "A&M Opens Big 12 Play with 21-7 Win over OSU". Press release. http://www.aggieathletics.com/pressRelease.php?PRID=503. Retrieved 2007-05-03.  
  21. ^ SportingNews.com - Your expert source for NCAA Football stats, scores, standings, and blogs from NCAA Football columnists
  22. ^ No venue more intimidating than Autzen Stadium
  23. ^ College Football Stadiums
  24. ^ 10. Kyle Field
  25. ^ The Post and Courier, Charleston SC | Charleston.net | Stories
  26. ^ McCarney, Dan (2008-01-19). "College football: Aggies' lack of wins affects future". San Antonio Express-News. http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/big12/stories/MYSA012008.06C.FBC.recruiting.en.1e80cb7.html. Retrieved 2008-04-11.  
  27. ^ "Top 10 toughest places to play college football". Fox Sports. http://msn.foxsports.com/cfb/pgStory?contentId=8418914&MSNHPHMA#sport=COLLEGE%20FOOTBALL&photo=8416170. Retrieved 2008-08-06.  
  28. ^ McGee, Ryan. [http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3531112 "SONIC YOUTH Every fall Saturday, college students around the country make their house a living hell for the visitor."]. ESPN The Magazine. http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3531112.  
  29. ^ Degnan, Susan (2008-09-10). "Miami faces Texas A&M and the 12th man". Miami Herald. http://www.tri-cityherald.com/tih/story/311472.html. Retrieved 2008-09-10.  
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  31. ^ . http://www.normantranscript.com/sports/local_story_310010348.html.  
  32. ^ Top 25 college football stadiums
  33. ^ CFB Datawarehouse (compiled results)
  34. ^ The Sporting News: Top 10 College Football Stadiums (from MSNBC.com)
  35. ^ College Station home for Big 12 intimidation
  36. ^ No Place Like Home
  37. ^ The best of the best for 2002
  38. ^ "Students Pack the Stadiums: The New 2008 "Best 366 Colleges" Rankings". The Princeton Review. http://www.princetonreview.com/college/research/rankings/rankingDetailspr07.asp?categoryID=7&topicID=54. Retrieved 2008-06-25.  
  39. ^ "Texas A&M Sports Museum". Texas A&M University. http://www.aggieathletics.com/index2.php?&catID=LETR&pageID=259. Retrieved 2007-02-28.  
  40. ^ "The Zone Club". Twelfth Man Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-05-04. http://web.archive.org/web/20070504002539/http://www.12thmanfoundation.com/zoneclub.asp. Retrieved 2007-02-28.  
  41. ^ Drehs, Wayne (November 26, 2003). "Follow the yell Leaders!". ESPN.com. http://espn.go.com/page2/s/drehs/031126texasam.html. Retrieved 2007-02-28.  
  42. ^ Wood, Ryan (2007-10-27). "A moving experience". The Lawrence Journal-World. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/oct/27/moving_experience/?sports. Retrieved 2007-11-06.  
  43. ^ Byrne, Bill (August 1, 2003). "Bill Byrne's Wednesday Weekly August Update". Texas A&M University Athletic Department. http://www.aggieathletics.com/press/print.php?FID=9. Retrieved 2007-02-28.  
  44. ^ a b "Lights, Camera, Action: Introducing 12th Man TV". Official Website of Texas A&M Athletics. http://www.aggieathletics.com/pressRelease.php?PRID=11654. Retrieved 2006-09-27.  
  45. ^ "Reveille, First Lady of A&M". RoadsideAmerica.com. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/pet/reveille.html. Retrieved 2007-02-28.  
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  48. ^ http://www.kbtx.com/sports/headlines/42696572.html

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