Neyland Stadium's time at the top of SEC over? Reports say Texas A&M's stadium will be bigger

A rendering of Kyle Field east side. 

(Courtesy of 12th Man Foundation)

A rendering of Kyle Field east side. (Courtesy of 12th Man Foundation)

A Heisman Trophy winner, an 11-2 season, and a projected Top 10 ranking to start the 2013 season are all big things for Texas A&M less than a year after officially joining the SEC, but what the school has planned next is even bigger.

The Houston Chronicle and others have published leaked information showing the planned $425 million expansion that the Aggies have in mind for their football stadium Kyle Field, and the makeover is designed to make a splash, not just to Texas A&M fans, but to the rest of their new conference brethren - while thumbing their nose to in-state nemesis Texas - as well.

Reports last fall indicated that the expansion would push the stadium to an official capacity of 103,500, which would make Tennessee's Neyland Stadium - with an official capacity of 102,455 - second in the SEC.

The Chronicle's report said that no one would comment on the record about the designs, but that the renderings, seen in their entirety here, were accurate.

Current SEC stadium official capacities

Tennessee Neyland Stadium 102,455

Alabama Bryant-Denny Stadium 101,821

Georgia Sanford Stadium 92,746

LSU Tiger Stadium 92,542

Florida Ben Hill Griffin Stadium 88,548

Auburn Jordan-Hare Stadium 87,451

Texas A&M Kyle Field 82,600

South Carolina Williams-Brice Stadium 80,250

Arkansas Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium 76,000*

Missouri Faurot Field 71,004

Kentucky Commonwealth Stadium 67,606

Ole Miss Vaught-Hemingway Stadium 60,580

Mississippi State Davis Wade Stadium 55,082

Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Stadium 39,790

*Note: Arkansas also plays some games at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, where the capacity is 53,727

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Comments » 87

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

Boo!!!

volfan1202 writes:

No more expensive expansion work to Neyland Stadium! They can't fill half the seats they have now.

gogovols2002#222335 writes:

Foolish way to spend money. The era of super large stadiums have come to an end.. With TV increasingly draining stadiums seats and the middle class being squeezed with no end in sight..does not bode well for concessions/live attendance. The best way to thumb your nose at texas is to continue winning. Maybe upgrade atheletic facilities/ housing etc..

BrassMonkey writes:

It was fun while it lasted, but our current trend of embracing mediocrity leads to middling game attendance. What we need is more sky boxes so the rich upper class can sit in comfort away from the average fan.

Olddogsrule writes:

The Volunteer Athletic Department has had ill fortune with with expenditures for the Neyland renovation resulting in the much ballyhooed financial difficulties. Unless A&M has has financial backing in place they may be well served to proceed with expansion plans in phases.

Given that in the not too distant future the quality of sports broadcast to ever higher tech television sets will pose competitive disadvantages to attending a game. Will we see sports broadcast in 3D? Will the ever rising cost of tickets, hotels, food & gas against a a smaller amount of the weekly paycheck available for entertainment spending make some folks just decide to stay home? Is this type of project too dangerous for educational institutions during this democratic regimes' continued economic floundering? Never worry, maybe they can fund a bailout, to include Tennessee and we can get some of the dollars back they so love to reach in our hip pocket and extract.

HoraceMorris writes:

I agree the days of the extra large stadiums are over. If UT was smart, they'd tear out all those bleachers seats and install individual seats like the NFL stadiums have. It would decrease capacity, but would also make it for a more pleasant environment in attending a game. Those seats are so cramped now, it's not a lot of fun to be squeezed in there especially on a hot day.

JSmith525 writes:

in response to volfan1202:

No more expensive expansion work to Neyland Stadium! They can't fill half the seats they have now.

I have been wondering as to why you didn't apply for the UT HC position. It was open! With all your knowledgeable post on UT football, I expect that you should have been # uno on Hart's search list. And I am positive that you would of had every seat in the Stadium filled this upcomming season. I am disappointed at the lack of commitment that you displayed towards the Vols by not appling for the position.. Very disturbing to me.... I feel that the Vols could have won a NC this season with you as HC. And would have set the mark for attendance records while doing so. Oh well I guess we are stuck with Coach Jones and company. Our Loss I guess...

tulelakevol writes:

I hated it when Hamster reduced capacity by putting in the high roller areas. That said, winning cures alot of ills. It is easier to sit crowded while curb stomping bama then vice versa.
Go Vols!

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

The number of wins in the stadium is what's important, not the number of people.

LiveFaith writes:

in response to volfan1202:

No more expensive expansion work to Neyland Stadium! They can't fill half the seats they have now.

Yep. Half full and an announced attendance of 89,224. I guess there is no level of government influence that is a safe haven from outright lies.

Goingape writes:

Give up the ghost. All of this focus on size of stadium is just like two preteen boys comparing the size of their package. Posturing and inferiority complexes, disgusting.

knoxvegasjohn writes:

As to Olddogsrule's comment that "Unless A&M has financial backing in place they may be well served to proceed with expansion plans in phases", may I point out that A&M is the 10th richest university in the Unites States with an endowment of over Seven Billion dollars. With the Permanent University fund continuing to increase in value due to oil and gas income, the rest of the SEC will always be poor cousins to their newest member.

LiveFaith writes:

in response to HoraceMorris:

I agree the days of the extra large stadiums are over. If UT was smart, they'd tear out all those bleachers seats and install individual seats like the NFL stadiums have. It would decrease capacity, but would also make it for a more pleasant environment in attending a game. Those seats are so cramped now, it's not a lot of fun to be squeezed in there especially on a hot day.

Tuscaloosa has a little venue that $tayS full almost every game. But, I see the point.

With HD home theatre, inflating cost of tickets, and aluminum bleachers (loved those during that Oregon game), it makes it a lot easier to stay home.

What will be interesting is getting in 103K with current building codes. Isle, seat, and corridor space requirements will push the size of a stadium expansion like that tremendously. Look at the south v north upper decks at Neyland as a good density comparison.

UTvols33 writes:

They should have learned from UT's mistakes, but I guess the trend now, established by our federal government, is to go into massive debt and let someone else worry about paying for it later. Regardless of how much a university or endowment is worth, they don't have $425 million just laying around. They will have to go into debt to get this done.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to UTvols33:

They should have learned from UT's mistakes, but I guess the trend now, established by our federal government, is to go into massive debt and let someone else worry about paying for it later. Regardless of how much a university or endowment is worth, they don't have $425 million just laying around. They will have to go into debt to get this done.

I think TAM was in a place of believing they have reached the pinnacle of success outside of UTA's shadow. I think they are going to regret this decision sooner than later, especially after Johnny fb gets injured or graduates. Ever hear of the Sophomore slump??

MO_Orange writes:

What difference does it make? UT is a long way from filling Neyland Stadium. Last year's "official" attendance numbers were hilarious - either they were "paid" attendance or 20,000 fans per game came disguised as empty seats.

6972 writes:

Isn't everything supposed to be bigger in Texas, including their ego, mouths, beer bellies, and butts?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to 6972:

Isn't everything supposed to be bigger in Texas, including their ego, mouths, beer bellies, and butts?

No doubt, Dallas built the largest stadium in the US, but it didn't equate into sold out cowboy games..This is just a way to assure themselves that they belong in the SEC, but the reality will set in when Vandy goes into Kyle field and kicks their arse.

bUTch_please writes:

Good for A&M. More power to 'em.

The stronger the conference is the better for us anyway.

They can take a few years to get finished, by then we'll be back in the saddle and can whip out a 1,000 more seats just to keep it interesting.

Sounds like fun.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to knoxvegasjohn:

As to Olddogsrule's comment that "Unless A&M has financial backing in place they may be well served to proceed with expansion plans in phases", may I point out that A&M is the 10th richest university in the Unites States with an endowment of over Seven Billion dollars. With the Permanent University fund continuing to increase in value due to oil and gas income, the rest of the SEC will always be poor cousins to their newest member.

I didn't know that kvj. I'll admit I only got a little sports news during that period as I was working away from home and lots of extra hours. However, wasn't part of the fracas about how A&M was considered the red headed stepchild next to Texas in state funding? Was this a case of, "We're rich and we want your money anyway"?

UTvols33 writes:

in response to 6972:

Isn't everything supposed to be bigger in Texas, including their ego, mouths, beer bellies, and butts?

Hey! I grew up in TX and... you're right. :)

antonio14313 writes:

am i'm doing the math wrong?? is a&m really going to add more than 20,000 seats??? impressive. but, i think that the good ole folks at UT won't let them have the biggest capacity stadium in the SEC for long. remember the yearly battles between tennessee and michigan for largest stadium in all the land? those days were kinda fun. ;) go vols.

t

antonio14313 writes:

poor vanderbilt. they should enclose the open end zone. i think that nashville could handle it. ;)

go vols.

t

CoverOrange writes:

in response to volfan1202:

No more expensive expansion work to Neyland Stadium! They can't fill half the seats they have now.

What do you mean? The guy sitting next to me took up his seat plus half the seats on either side.

Vol43 writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Stupid comment; stupid article.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

It was fun while it lasted, but our current trend of embracing mediocrity leads to middling game attendance. What we need is more sky boxes so the rich upper class can sit in comfort away from the average fan.

You are 100% correct. There is no reason I should have to sit next to trash like you.

DC82_Vol writes:

Money is no issue for Texas A&M.

Pompey writes:

.....you don't get over the distruction of hurricane Hamilton in just a couple of years. Tennessee is a poorly managed university from top to botton and those in charge of oversight are on the golf course....f o u r !

UTvols33 writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

But he is not dead, so that makes your statement really weird, I don't think A&M will ever win 14 national championships, and VU & UK are UT's rivals and it's about time they became competitive. Looks like you are 0 for 3.

HooRay_Vol writes:

Dang. We can't be # 1 in anything......... Except for having the most trolls posting on this website.

pcorange writes:

We're no longer the biggest in the country, so who cares?

suggest_removal_4_all_troll_posts writes:

in response to HoraceMorris:

I agree the days of the extra large stadiums are over. If UT was smart, they'd tear out all those bleachers seats and install individual seats like the NFL stadiums have. It would decrease capacity, but would also make it for a more pleasant environment in attending a game. Those seats are so cramped now, it's not a lot of fun to be squeezed in there especially on a hot day.

I concur Mr. Morris!

Shazzon Bradley (okay, not really)

johnlg00 writes:

in response to gogovols2002#222335:

Foolish way to spend money. The era of super large stadiums have come to an end.. With TV increasingly draining stadiums seats and the middle class being squeezed with no end in sight..does not bode well for concessions/live attendance. The best way to thumb your nose at texas is to continue winning. Maybe upgrade atheletic facilities/ housing etc..

I agree. This is a perfect example of "winning the last war". Rabid as A&M fans are, I wouldn't be surprised if they filled it up a few times in the next few years, but they are sinking an AWFUL lot of money into a stadium that may be a white elephant in the not-too-distant future.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to HoraceMorris:

I agree the days of the extra large stadiums are over. If UT was smart, they'd tear out all those bleachers seats and install individual seats like the NFL stadiums have. It would decrease capacity, but would also make it for a more pleasant environment in attending a game. Those seats are so cramped now, it's not a lot of fun to be squeezed in there especially on a hot day.

Good idea. When I was an undergrad, I gladly sat on those hard, narrow, backless aluminum benches every game, when I wasn't on my feet yelling. As an older guy, I find it something of a trial to spend more than three hours in an environment like that, much as I still love Vol football. The ever-increasing costs of attending live games coupled with the ever-improving technology of TV and online services will make actually attending games in those conditions increasingly unpopular.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to antonio14313:

am i'm doing the math wrong?? is a&m really going to add more than 20,000 seats??? impressive. but, i think that the good ole folks at UT won't let them have the biggest capacity stadium in the SEC for long. remember the yearly battles between tennessee and michigan for largest stadium in all the land? those days were kinda fun. ;) go vols.

t

UT pretty much gave up on that competition with the last stadium renovation. About the only way to increase Neyland's capacity now is to draw the lines on the benches closer or put on a third deck! Several on here have already voted against the former and the latter may well be impossible. For now, let's just concentrate, as others have said, on filling the seats we have now, and with VOL fans rather than by visitors taking up a third of the occupied seats. Oh, and for all of you putting the Vols down for the observed differences between paid attendance and the number actually in the seats, everybody calculates "attendance" in the same way, e.g., by tickets sold and the official traveling parties of the teams.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

The Volunteer Athletic Department has had ill fortune with with expenditures for the Neyland renovation resulting in the much ballyhooed financial difficulties. Unless A&M has has financial backing in place they may be well served to proceed with expansion plans in phases.

Given that in the not too distant future the quality of sports broadcast to ever higher tech television sets will pose competitive disadvantages to attending a game. Will we see sports broadcast in 3D? Will the ever rising cost of tickets, hotels, food & gas against a a smaller amount of the weekly paycheck available for entertainment spending make some folks just decide to stay home? Is this type of project too dangerous for educational institutions during this democratic regimes' continued economic floundering? Never worry, maybe they can fund a bailout, to include Tennessee and we can get some of the dollars back they so love to reach in our hip pocket and extract.

Keep your politics to yourself. It's hard enough dealing with trolls. Now you got to start with your whiny arsed politics. What a bitter old dog.

gc_scvol writes:

Nobody on the kns staff wants to take credit forth is one?

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to antonio14313:

poor vanderbilt. they should enclose the open end zone. i think that nashville could handle it. ;)

go vols.

t

antonio,

This wasn't supposed to leak out but...........hearing the A & M expansion news, Vanderbilt is ready to announce they are adding 70,000 extra seats. That is a hefty cost, but the additional expense with this project is covering about 85,000 seats with black and gold shirts and shakers to resemble the fans they will have announced to be in attendance.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fulmer isn't dead, but his coaching career is.

SevenT writes:

Texas A & M wins games so they sell tickets

Tennessee loses so they don't sell tickets

Not that complicated, I would suggest Tennessee offer something in return for buying a ticket. Perhaps tickets to the Rodeo or Tractor pull or maybe Wrestling.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Texas A & M wins games so they sell tickets

Tennessee loses so they don't sell tickets

Not that complicated, I would suggest Tennessee offer something in return for buying a ticket. Perhaps tickets to the Rodeo or Tractor pull or maybe Wrestling.

88-58 will sting for a long time

VOL56 writes:

I'm a VFL - living in Houston - believe me, aTm has taken over the state of Texas recruiting from the former mighty Longhorns - friends in Austin say Mack Brown - AD Deloss Dodds and the president are on their way out. Look for a big change at Texas. The Aggies will be contenders in the SEC for a long time - big $$$Money big stadium - big time players.

Note: Article in USA today mentions that according to top NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst, Rob Rang, Tyler Bray is the best QB in the draft - "he can flat throw. He makes throws Gene Smith can't" Tyler has added 24 lbs now 6-6 232. He will drafted in the 1st round. along with two other VOLS.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to SevenT:

Texas A & M wins games so they sell tickets

Tennessee loses so they don't sell tickets

Not that complicated, I would suggest Tennessee offer something in return for buying a ticket. Perhaps tickets to the Rodeo or Tractor pull or maybe Wrestling.

BY 30 POINTS! THAT'S GONNA LEAVE A MARK

MikeNPS writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

No doubt, Dallas built the largest stadium in the US, but it didn't equate into sold out cowboy games..This is just a way to assure themselves that they belong in the SEC, but the reality will set in when Vandy goes into Kyle field and kicks their arse.

The Cowboys were able to build the new stadium because a phony tax was put in place whereby money was ripped off from everyone who rented a car at DFW airport. Jerry Jones did NOT build the stadium. It was built by people who had their pockets picked on rental cars.

orange_eVOLution writes:

Size isn't everything...

sameolvolalum writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

The Volunteer Athletic Department has had ill fortune with with expenditures for the Neyland renovation resulting in the much ballyhooed financial difficulties. Unless A&M has has financial backing in place they may be well served to proceed with expansion plans in phases.

Given that in the not too distant future the quality of sports broadcast to ever higher tech television sets will pose competitive disadvantages to attending a game. Will we see sports broadcast in 3D? Will the ever rising cost of tickets, hotels, food & gas against a a smaller amount of the weekly paycheck available for entertainment spending make some folks just decide to stay home? Is this type of project too dangerous for educational institutions during this democratic regimes' continued economic floundering? Never worry, maybe they can fund a bailout, to include Tennessee and we can get some of the dollars back they so love to reach in our hip pocket and extract.

You ought to move down here to South Carolina. Lots of people want to refight the civil war in this state, so you'd fit right in. Otherwise, keep your politics off this site.

VOL56 writes:

in response to 45ReVOLver:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fellow Alumnus

Suggest you check out the current upcoming NFL draft, two aTm linemen (d -0) are in the top 20 - starting QB for Miami is from aTm - and currently aTm is in top 5-6 for 13' recruits. Their rejects now go to Texas.
Yeah, aTm will be a frequent SEC West contender going forward.

I'm going to watch the VOLS beat the Aggies tomorrow at College Station. I will be in Orange but my granddaughter will be in maroon since she is a sophomore at aTm.

My cousin, managed the players Cafeteria at Gibbs hall for 37 years (he is an honorary UT Letterman (received the award last year). I'm from Jackson Tn currently live in Houston.

Orange_Beach writes:

NeyBoob is nothing more than a giant Richtor set stadium with a brick facade around it to hide the ugliness. The day after Mal Moore announced the capacity of Bryant-Denny Hammie increased NeyBoob's capacity, so yeah somebody up there does care about size.

antonio14313 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

UT pretty much gave up on that competition with the last stadium renovation. About the only way to increase Neyland's capacity now is to draw the lines on the benches closer or put on a third deck! Several on here have already voted against the former and the latter may well be impossible. For now, let's just concentrate, as others have said, on filling the seats we have now, and with VOL fans rather than by visitors taking up a third of the occupied seats. Oh, and for all of you putting the Vols down for the observed differences between paid attendance and the number actually in the seats, everybody calculates "attendance" in the same way, e.g., by tickets sold and the official traveling parties of the teams.

i was delighted to see the jumbotron go up years ago, but wondered why only 1 went up, and not 2. maybe UT should get rid of the "roofing" opposite that big tv and put another big screen up there, to total 2 in the building?? i personally would be happy with that! and, if UT did decide to up the attendance, i'd rather them just go ahead and make capacity 110,000 and be done with it forever. but, like you said, that'd be near impossible. and, yes, the seats that are already there should be filled up first, which i'm not worried about. that WILL happen again. UT has fans all across everywhere, and not just in knoxville, and they're willing to travel to knoxville to go to the game...

go vols!

t

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

The Cowboys were able to build the new stadium because a phony tax was put in place whereby money was ripped off from everyone who rented a car at DFW airport. Jerry Jones did NOT build the stadium. It was built by people who had their pockets picked on rental cars.

Not caring about how they funded the stadium..My point was they built a huge stadium that rarely sells out regular season games.

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