Flush with cash from its recent football success and its move to the Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M University has developed plans to spend $68 million on new stadiums for its softball and track and field teams.
Both new stadiums would be on the west side of the university's College Station campus and would be built by the end of 2017, according to a brief compiled for the A&M System Board of Regents. The two projects are awaiting approval from the regents, who are expected vote on them during their meeting on Wednesday.
The softball stadium would cost $28.6 million and would replace the 20-year-old stadium currently used by the team. The track stadium would cost $39.8 million. Much of the money for the construction would come from donations.
Plans for the softball stadium include seating for about 2,000 fans. The facility is needed because "the current venue is no longer conducive to support the recruiting of the highest level student athlete, providing student athletes with the best Aggie collegiate experience or providing Aggie patrons a quality game day experience," wrote A&M System Chief Financial Officer Billy Hamilton in a briefing prepared for Wednesday's regents meeting.
The track stadium, meanwhile, would seat about 3,000 fans and "will be built to host track and field events ranging from high school, regional, and collegiate track meets, and championship and Olympic qualifier track meets," Hamilton wrote.
To make room for the new stadiums, the university will also need to relocate some recreational sports fields, which will cost an additional $10 million.
If approved, the project would add to the athletics building boom currently happening at A&M. Last year, the university completed a $485 million renovation of its football stadium, Kyle Field.
The university also made waves after it was reported that it collected more revenue, $192.6 million, than any athletic department in the country last year. That amount was a bit of an anomaly. Much of that revenue came from one-time contributions to help pay for the stadium renovation.
But A&M officials have said their financial situation has nonetheless improved dramatically in recent years, thanks in large part to new television revenue and ticket sales generated by some successful football seasons and the move to the SEC.
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