Kyle Field – Texas A&M Aggies
Photos by Michael Davis, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14
Kyle Field 756 Houston Street College Station, TX 77843
Year Opened: 1927
College Station - Home to Texas A&M football and The Spirit of Aggieland
There are plenty of college campuses across the country that are in great towns and cities. All those schools have plenty of great traditions, players, and fan bases. However, in College Station it is different; there is a spirit that Texas A&M University and the surrounding communities share – that spirit is known as The Spirit of Aggieland.
As you arrive on the Texas A&M campus a water tower reads: Welcome to Aggieland. Kyle Field is nestled on the campus of Texas A&M University, and has been the heart of Aggieland since September 24, 1927, and has become 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. This record will be in danger when a 13-year absent rivalry vs. the University of Texas is renewed in 2024 at Kyle Field.
Food & Beverage 3
Kyle Field provides standard yet affordable fare at its concessions stands. On every level, fans can find Aggie dogs, Slovacek Garlic Pepperjack Sausage, Frito Pie, popcorn, pretzels, nachos, sodas, bottled water, and candy. The price for most items is between $5 and $10, but the concession stands also offer combos of food plus a beverage for $15 – while this doesn’t save you money, it is just an easier way to understand your total cost.
Popular chain restaurants such as Walk-On’s, Freebirds World Burrito, and Chick-fil-A are available, yet the most popular stand is Wrecking Crew BBQ, serving brisket, chicken, and sausages. The concessions at Kyle Field serve Pepsi products, with the best value being the $9 regular because a souvenir soda is $20. The positive is Kyle Field has a Pepsi refill station, so refills are plenty, after that first plunge out of your wallet.
My favorite food item is the recent addition of Gig 'Em Sticks – local favorite Slovacek’ s brings a Crawford Bock sausage dipped in cheese and topped with bacon, crumbled hot Cheetos, cilantro lime crema, and chipotle ranch. Sounds good? It is in Sections 134 and 213 of Kyle Field.
The beer selection at Kyle Field has a World of Beer difference, which just happens to be the name of the concession stand that has the best selection – Dos Equis, Saint Arnold, Lagunitas, and Dogfish Head are a few breweries that have a beer at the concession stands. The prices range between $13 and $14 for a 19.2 oz.
The food and beverages are perfect for watching a game at Kyle Field; there are enough choices for the fan that enjoys partaking in concessions during a sporting event, or you can tailgate or visit one of College Station’s fine restaurants.
There are not many college football atmospheres, if any, that can match the history and tradition that embodies Texas A&M University – Kyle Field has earned the reputation of being one of the most intimidating stadiums in all of college football. The 12th Man is more than just the 100,000 fans in attendance but also represents the spirit of all past, present, and future Aggies.
Aggie fans stand for the entirety of the game, are loud, and are engaged in the game. This is in honor of their recognition of the original 12th Man, a tradition which dates 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.
The white Twelfth Man towel-waving crowd brings incredible energy to Kyle Field. It seems that everyone at Kyle Field has a Twelfth Man Towel on them, which is waved about throughout the game, adding a similar feel to the Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towels.
The Texas A&M Aggies don’t incorporate cheerleaders or dance teams at Kyle Field; instead, 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.
Texas A&M students practice these yells before each game during Midnight Yell Practice on the night before the game, and each yell is designed to suit that week’s opponent. The hand gestures, which are passed back by each row of fans to the row behind them, are a truly remarkable sight to witness, along with the actual yell that 100,000 Aggies shout out in unison.
Texas A&M University is one of six U.S. colleges that is classified as a senior military college. The Aggie Corps of Cadets is another great tradition seen on game day at Kyle Field – the Corps is comprised of ROTC students at Texas A&M, who fire off “The Spirit of ‘02’” cannon after every A&M touchdown (“The Spirit of ‘02’” is a World War I-era artillery piece).
Kyle Field is also home to 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 Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band isn’t the normal college band on Saturday – this military band marches in lockstep formation and is known for performing complex maneuvers while playing the Aggie War Hymn and the Spirit of Aggieland, which is the school’s alma mater.
Another popular tradition at Texas A&M is Reveille, the Aggie mascot. 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. How special is Reveille to Aggies?
Outside Kyle Field at the Richardson Zone Plaza there is a small cemetery – this cemetery is home to the graves of all past Reveilles. 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 to the gravesite for the faithful mascots. The current mascot, Reveille IX, maintains a Twitter following where she tweets about her Aggies.
Kyle Field is located on Texas A&M University’s campus in College Station, Texas. College Station is located 90 miles northwest of Houston, and 87 miles northeast of Austin, in the heart of the Brazos Valley. Texas A&M University is the area’s largest employer, which classifies the city of 120,000 as a college town.
The Northgate District is the local area for the university’s student life; the Dixie Chicken has been a staple in College Station since 1974, and claims to serve the most beer per square foot of any bar in the United States. In addition, there are also many other food and beverage establishments to visit – these places begin with the numerous Texas BBQ joints around the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area.
One of the most publicized, and listed in the Texas Top 50 BBQ places, is Fargo’s Pit BBQ in nearby Bryan. However, be prepared to have a backup plan, as Fargo’s only makes a certain amount of food, then closes when they run out.
The better plan, if you just want a good BBQ without the overhype, is C & J Barbeque, which has three locations in Bryan and College Station. Alternatively, the Good Bull BBQ is the closest to Kyle Field and is within walking distance of the stadium. Or if BBQ isn’t your thing, then try Koppe Bridge Bar and Grill – this is a great place for a burger, fries, and a drink before the game.
For those looking to do a little more than just eat in the College Station area, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on the Texas A&M campus. This library and museum are one of 13 such facilities operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Inside the building are many of the 41st President’s papers, artifacts, and records. Or, another interesting museum in the area is 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.
While College Station is great for the US history buff, to truly grasp the Texas A&M game day atmosphere you must visit the Texas A&M Bonfire Memorial – this memorial truly celebrates the tradition, history, and spirit of Texas A&M University.
There is plenty of lodging in the College-Bryan area, but gameday weekends could be hard to find vacancies. You may want to plan or check the Texas A&M website, as the website promotes The George, a luxury hotel near Kyle Field in the heart of Century Square, where you will find dining, shopping, and live music.
Texas A&M’s fan base makes the game day experience something memorable. The trademark “12th Man” is owned by Texas A&M University; you’ll see it all around Aggieland on banners, concessions, and more importantly on merchandise. The Seattle Seahawks even paid Texas A&M $140,000 for limited rights to the “12th Man” trademark.
Kyle Field’s 100,000-plus faithful are littered with maroon and white and are the most engaged fans of any college sport. The chants of Beat the Hell Out of (insert opponent’s name here) or “Whoop!” (one of A&M’s signature yells) can be heard all game long. There will also be plenty of hissing; Aggie fans are taught to hiss instead of booing the refs and the other team.
There are a lot of traditions at Texas A&M University – one tradition is Midnight Yell Practice, which is held at Kyle Field the night before each game. Tradition is a huge part of the makeup of Texas A&M University; Aggie fans not only truly respect the traditions, but they also actively take part in Midnight Yell. Texas A&M fans are truly some of the best in all of college football, and create an incredible atmosphere – they are one of the main highlights of attending a game at Kyle Field.
College Station is located 90 miles northwest of Houston International Airport (IAH), and 87 miles northeast of Austin’s airport (AUS) – neither of these major airports serves College Station.
The area’s population of 120,000 along with another 100,000-plus fans in attendance for every game can lead to some serious congestion and traffic issues. There is a rideshare and taxi service available with pick up and drop off locations by Reed Arena on Olsen Blvd; the location changes during and after the game to Lot 30E and three other locations.
If you are driving, most university-sanctioned parking lots will cost $25, but Texas A&M has a wonderful shuttle service in place that will make getting to and leaving Kyle Field much easier. The shuttles are free and run for several hours before and after the game, and are a great way to navigate around game traffic.
The best option for parking is to arrive early and park in the neighborhood near Kyle Field. This plan is low cost, but it does require walking approximately half a mile or three-quarters of a mile each way. There is an entry tower at each corner of Kyle Field, with ramps leading to the different levels. The stadium also has good signage for directions, and the concourse is large enough to accommodate a crowd of 100,000-plus fans.
Return on Investment 4
Kyle Field’s seating capacity has increased to 102,733, yet this didn’t lower the ticket prices. The best option for lower ticket prices would be to settle for a game against a non-conference opponent, such as New Mexico, Louisiana-Monroe, or Abilene-Christian. Tickets for these games sell for about $50, while premier game tickets (usually conference opponents) cost between $80 and $125 to get a seat inside Kyle Field. This is especially true for SEC play versus Alabama or LSU; those tickets can start at $125 for seating in the 300 and 400-level areas.
Of course, Kyle Field’s experience is unique in the college football landscape. The stadium has better sightlines and views since the recent renovations, and the parking can be free if you don’t mind the walk to the stadium. However, the cliché of you get what you pay for is true at Kyle Field, because the game day atmosphere is among the best in college football.
Texas A&M is the heartland of a football-crazed state, and Kyle Field’s capacity is the largest in Texas, and the fourth largest in the country. The Aggies’ tradition and history are also unparalleled in sports – the 12th Man continues to represent all past, present, and future Aggies. A visit to Kyle Field should be on any sports fan’s bucket list.
Kyle Field is a must-visit for any sports fan – the pageantry and traditions will amaze any newcomer to Kyle Field. The unique spirit that presents itself during the game day atmosphere here at Texas A&M is best stated in the first verse of Texas A&M’s alma mater, The Spirit of Aggieland – “Some may boast of prowess bold, Of the school they think so grand, but there’s a spirit can ne’er be told, It’s the Spirit of Aggieland.”