Students, administration examine Kyle Field seating
Published: Monday, February 13, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07
After the highlighting of an SEC rule requiring the reallocation of specific student seating at Kyle Field, Texas A&M University student representatives — including members of student government, the Corps of Cadets, and the Aggie band — met with Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin, among other university staff, Monday and concluded with a proposed compromise.
As the SEC bylaws stand, student seating is not permissible behind the opposing team's bench between the 30-yard lines from rows 1 through 25, an area that primarily includes the Aggie Band. In order to alleviate student concerns, Loftin reached out to student leaders to discuss the issue in the case that an official appeal to the SEC is rejected.
According to a press release from Jeff Pickering, Texas A&M's student body president, the current proposal by Dr. Loftin and Athletic Department staff includes the movement of student seating to the south end zone bleachers and the addition of approximately 100 extra seats to the current student allotment.
Pickering expressed pleasure in Texas A&M's diligence to preserve the integrity of one of its most cherished traditions.
"This is a remarkable sign of Texas A&M's continued commitment to students and the tradition of Kyle Field being the home of the Twelfth Man," Pickering stated in his press release.
Jason Cook, Texas A&M vice president for marketing and communications, wished to remind Aggies that, while a movement of student seating was not preferable, it will affect a relatively small portion of a potentially growing student section.
"I think it's important to know that we allocate over 30,000 seats to students currently, and the issue that we're talking about right now affects two sections of Kyle Field and statistically 1,400 people," Cook said. "The administration is making a commitment that we will not lose student seats throughout this process. In fact, in the diagrams we discussed [Monday], students will get an increase of seats."
Cook also stated the Aggie Band would not move far from its original location if relocation becomes necessary.
"If you look at the proposal that was discussed [Monday], the band will continue to be in the same general vicinity of Kyle Field," Cook said. "[The band] would move two sections to the north."
Junior yell leader Nelson Ingram, an attendant at Monday's meeting, expressed relief that the proposed transformations were not substantial and that full efforts were made by University officials to keep the status quo.
"It was really nice to see that it wasn't a huge change and that the administration did everything they could," Ingram said. "Yes we're moving these seats around, but we're not changing the Twelfth Man — there's no way [the SEC] can hinder that."
Ingram said he was also eager to see what a new seating arrangement could bring to the table on game day.
"It's going to be neat having students on that south side to produce even more volume from a section that is normally reserved for [non-student] overflow," Ingram said. "It'll be interesting to see what the south end zone can produce volume-wise to get Kyle Field rockin'."
Cook ensures, meanwhile, that Texas A&M's stance on preserving the Twelfth Man tradition is of utmost importance to the University.
"We've always said we want to ensure that Kyle Field remains the home of the Twelfth Man," Cook said. "What we're doing is looking at the SEC rule and how we can best comply with that rule without hurting our home field advantage."