Texas wants to keep up with the Joneses.
With Texas A&M's Kyle Field set to eclipse the Longhorns' Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium as the biggest venue in college football after renovations this summer, new athletic director Steve Patterson is searching for a feasible way to add more seats to the south end of the stadium.
Per Tim Newcomb of SI.com:
The stadium currently seats 100,119 persons, which was the most in college football among teams from Texas last season. However, A&M's $450 million renovation is set to give Kyle Field more than 102,000 seats by 2015, which would knock Texas off its throne.
And it gets even worse.
Per Suzanne Halliburton of the Austin American-Statesman, Texas A&M will actually have more seats—106,511—available after the first of two phases of construction is done by 2014, losing a few thousand to build wider seats during the second phase.
While unclear how many seats this new renovation would add, it would ostensibly be done to top what's going on in College Station.
At the moment, though, Patterson called the idea merely "conceptual," saying, per Newcomb's report, that "Any further planning will depend on a variety of factors to be examined over the next several months."
Newcomb elaborates on what Patterson meant:
Included in the concept of adding more seats in Austin to the horseshoe-shaped stadium includes studying any necessary operational upgrades, including the needs surrounding parking and fan amenities displaced by the construction of the new Dell Medical School to the south of the 1924-built stadium. The feasibility study—which will include interviews with Longhorn Foundation members—will also scope out the possible financing options and set a likely budget for any potential project. But it gets more in-depth than that. The study could also set up an initial market and cost analysis, as well as specific details to cost, phasing options and even detailed structural analysis of existing buildings.
Texas A&M has made a show of its renovations, which, according to Halliburton, will also include the nation's biggest video board, trumping Texas' current module.
The two Texas schools continue trying to best each other, and this twisted space race of sorts will proceed for the foreseeable future.
Even after leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, Texas A&M will always remain the Longhorns' rival.