One of the finest football facilities in the nation, Kyle Field is the home of the Aggies. It was first built in 1927 and 1929, and was expanded in 1967 to include two decks, and then in 1980 the third decks were finished. In 1996, the artificial turf, which had served as the playing surface since the early 70s, was removed and replaced
with natural grass.
Kyle Field is nearing completion of $32.9 million dollar renovation project that will increase its seating capacity to more than 80,000 and give Kyle Field a state-of-the-art end zone facility with luxury boxes. "The Zone" will add three decks to the north end zone and bring fans 65 feet closer to the field, making it the most comprehensive collegiate end
zone expansion in the country.
Fans will also notice the Sony JumboTron, in its fourth season at Kyle Field, located at the south end of the stadium where the old H-shaped scoreboard and message board was located. The JumboTron allows fans to watch replays, as well as get an up close view of special events taking place before and during the game.
Under Aggie coach R.C. Slocum, the Aggies have been almost unbeatable on their home turf. Since Slocum took over the reins in 1989, the Aggies have compiled a 60-5-1 (.917) home record and won 52 of the last 56 games played at Kyle Field. Texas A&M has also won 19 straight games dating back to 1996.
The stadium record is 86,128, set on November 26, 1999 against Texas. The Aggies won the game, 20-16. Previously, the old record was 78,573, set in 1987 against Texas. The completion of "The Zone" saw A&M shatter the previous season attendance average mark of 66,623 (set in 1987) by drawing an average of 73,126 fans to Kyle Field in '99. Even in 1998, when the stadium expansion eliminated all of the old end zone horsehoe seats, demand for tickets was at a feverpitch. The Aggies averaged an above-capacity 58,292 per contest.
Named after Edwin Jackson Kyle, former dean of agriculture and president of the athletic council, the stadium has three decks behind each sideline and the north end zone. One of the nation's top press box facilities sits atop the third deck on the west side of the stadium.
At ground level on the west side of the stadium is the A&M dressing and training rooms. Both the men's and women's training facilities, which are acclaimed by many trainers to be unmatched, are located here. A high-tech video lab, where game films are broken down for review and the coach's television show is taped, is also located on the west side of Kyle Field. The visiting team's dressing facility is located under the corner of the stadium on the southeast side of the grandstand.
One of the most well-known traditions at Texas A&M is the 12th Man. The story of this colorful tradition has been told to generations of Aggie students, and is part of the cohesive substance that binds A&M students together forever. The 12th man is the reason A&M students stand for the entire football game. When Aggie students stand during the game, it is this spirit and loyalty they are remembering. They stand in readiness in case they are needed to go into the game like the original 12th Man - E. King Gill.
On January 2, 1922, Texas A&M played the national champions, Centre College, in the Dixie Classic Football Game in Dallas. At halftime Texas A&M was ahead, but the game had produced so many injuries that A&M Coach Dana X. Bible did not think that he would have enough men to finish the game. He then remembered E. King Gill, a former football player and current basketball player, and called into the stands for him. Gill willingly donned the uniform of an injured player. Gill never actually played, but he was the only player left on the bench when the game ended. Texas A&M won by an eight point margin: 22 - 14.
Gill's readiness to play symbolized the willingness of the Aggie fans to support their team. That readiness for service, desire to support, and enthusiasm to help kindled a flame of devotion among the entire student body. The entire student body stands throughout the game, ready for duty if called. All Aggies are considered part of the Twelfth Man.
One of the more popular traditions at Aggieland occurs after the Aggies score a field goal or touchdown. The Aggie gets to kiss his/her date. An old saying goes: "When the Aggies score on the field, the Aggies score in the stands too." One Aggie legend says that during the team's lean years, Aggies got to kiss their date after every first down.
Source: Aggie 1996 Media Guide
Courtesy of Bennett Oden, thanks Bennett.
On November 16, 1998 Chris Farrar wrote and sent the story about the 12th Man: If you have never been to a game at Kyle Field, you need to as soon as you can. The entire experience is awesome. The amount of noise that those 60,000-70,000 fans can produce is deafening. Though, when the Ag offense has the ball and is lined up, you could hear a pin drop. It's crazy! They have a 'Yell Practice' at Midnight the night before the game. The stands fill up and we go through all of the yells, it's a blast. A&M has so much tradition. And when the team scores, the Aggies score! They fire a huge cannon everytime the Ag's score, when the cannon goes off, all of the couples in the stands get to kiss. I think that's everyone's favorite part of the game! heh.