Kyle Field – Texas A&M Aggies
The Heart of Aggieland
Few college football programs in America can match the history and tradition that embodies Texas A&M University. College Station and its surrounding communities are known by the faithful A&M followers as Aggieland, and the heart of Aggieland is historic Kyle Field. Nestled on the campus of Texas A&M University, Kyle Field is one of the largest sporting venues in the country. For a contest in 2014 against the visiting University of Mississippi Rebels, Kyle Field was host to a capacity crowd of 110,631, the largest in SEC and Texas history. Built in 1927, the venerable facilities received a massive makeover from 2013-2015 to coincide with the Aggies move to the SEC. The renovations made the seating capacity the largest in the state of Texas and the fourth largest in the country. The atmosphere and fans make the stadium special; the tradition and history are palpable and make it a must-visit for college football fans.
Food & Beverage 4
In terms of “big time” college football, Kyle Field offers fairly standard, affordable fare at their concessions stands on every level of the stadium. Hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, nachos, sodas, bottled water, and candy all can be had for around $5, while “upgraded” fare like jalapeno and jack sausages or Aggie nachos (covered in chili) are slightly more expensive. Popular chain restaurants also have kiosks and stands throughout the stadium. Chick-fil-A, McAlister’s Deli, and Double Dave’s Pizzaworks all have pared-down restaurant menus at their stands, and all are popular among game attendees.
Something else to keep in mind when attending Aggie games at Kyle Field is the alcohol policy. Since the stadium is located on campus, like many other NCAA facilities, Kyle Field does not sell alcohol outside of “premium seating” areas, such as in the stadium boxes.
Kyle Field boasts a reputation as being one of the most intimidating stadiums in all of college football, and it definitely holds true to that reputation for opposing teams. Fans of the opposition, though, have nothing to fear from the home crowd. The traditions of the Aggies all add to the atmosphere and the overall experience for game attendees. The student section stands on their seats for the entirety of the game, in honor of their recognition as the “original” 12th man. The tradition dates back to 1922 and E. King Gill, a former football player who gave it up to play basketball, but who was called out of the stands to be ready to take the field for the Aggies. In tribute to this, Twelfth Man Towels are waved about throughout the course of the game, adding even more frenzied energy in the stands.
Unlike most schools, which boast large squads of cheerleaders and/or dance teams, the Aggies have Yell Leaders. Three senior and two junior students (historically all male) use hand signals, or “pass backs” to direct the crowd during yells. Students practice these each week at Midnight Yell Practice, and each yell is designed to suit that week’s opponent. Hearing the crowd get riled up by the Yell Leaders is truly a sight to behold.
Another great tradition is the Aggie Corps of Cadets and “The Spirit of ’02′” cannon. The corps is comprised of ROTC students at Texas A&M, and they fire off this World War I-era artillery piece after every A&M touchdown. Lastly, make it a point to spot the Aggie mascot Reveille. This rough collie has been the mascot of the Aggies since the 1930s; currently Reveille IX can be seen prowling the sidelines on game day. A small cemetery is home to the graves of all past Reveilles, and can be visited at the Richardson Zone Plaza. Tradition holds that the former mascots are all buried facing the north tunnel of the field so they can watch the Aggies score; the recent renovations blocked the view, however, so a small scoreboard was added outside the stadium for the faithful mascots.
Kyle Field is located right in the middle of Texas A&M University’s campus. As it is one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the state, virtually everything immediately surrounding the stadium is geared toward either education or student life. College Station itself is very much a typical college town, with local favorite hangout spots popular with both citizens and students. For those looking to do a little exploring, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on the Texas A&M campus. One of 13 such facilities operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, the center is the repository for many of the 41st President’s papers, artifacts, and records. In addition, the Museum of the American G.I., a military-history museum that is home to one of the country’s largest collections of armored vehicles, is also located in College Station. If you’re a history buff, these are both definitely spots to visit either before or after the game; both are open on game days.
Not enough praise can be heaped upon Aggie fans. They truly make the game day experience something memorable. The stands, often filled with over 100,000 faithful, are littered with maroon and white, and chants of “Whoop!” (one of A&M’s signature calls) can be heard nearly in unison at all the “right” times during the game. Tradition is a huge part of the makeup of Texas A&M; fans not only truly respect the traditions, but they actively take part in them during every game. Aggie fans are truly some of the best in all of college football, and are easily one of the main highlights of attending games at Kyle Field.
College Station itself is a relatively small town. As such, infrastructure such as subways, trains, trolleys, and taxis are virtually nonexistent. With over 100,000 fans in attendance for every game, this can lead to some serious congestion and traffic issues, especially when trying to navigate campus roads leading to Kyle Field. However, Texas A&M has a wonderful shuttle service in place that will make getting to and leaving Kyle Field much easier. After paying for parking, usually $20 on most university-sanctioned lots, you can board a shuttle bus that will take you to and from Kyle Field. Shuttle services are free, and run for several hours before and after games, and are a great way to navigate around game traffic.
Return on Investment 4
Tickets to Kyle Field are not easy to come by, and are generally not cheap when purchasing through the University. This is especially true when conference play begins; those tickets can start at $100 for seating in the 300 and 400 level areas. However, it is my opinion that you get what you pay for in terms of a ticket to Kyle Field. The experience is unique on the college football landscape. Since the recent renovations, the sight lines are better than ever, and no matter where you sit, you will have a very good view of the on-field action. Couple that with the affordability of the concessions and parking, and you have will have a memorable experience at Kyle Field.
In addition to the fans, the students, and the Corps of Cadets, one of the extras that make attending a game at Kyle Field worthwhile is the legendary Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. The band, like every other aspect of Texas A&M life, is steeped in tradition, and since it was founded, the military-style marching band has become a fixture at Kyle Field. The band members eat together, sleep in the same dorms, and practice up to 40 hours a week, and it shows in their expert, precision shows. Marching in lock-step formation, the band is known for performing complex maneuvers while playing the “Aggie War Hymn” and the “Spirit of Aggieland,” which is the school’s alma mater. Make sure to postpone your trip to the concessions stand at halftime until after the show!
If you’re a fan of college football, Kyle Field needs to be on your bucket list of stadiums to visit. Even if you’re rooting for the other team, you won’t be able to keep yourself from being caught up in the traditions of Texas A&M and Kyle Field. Plan a trip as soon as you can, it is definitely worth it.
Follow Eric Moreno’s Stadium Journey on Twitter @EricMoreno6477.
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Latest Crowd Reviews
This is about as first class as you can get at the college level, probably even at the NFL level too. This stadium is super nice and deafeningly loud. I have to say the Aggies can really bring it and made the trip memorable. Kyle Field exceeds the hype.
A trip to Kyle Field is a must for the college football fan.