Some sweeping changes could be on tap for Texas A&M Aggies softball, as the university is mulling a new ballpark for the program.
Fresh off of the successful opening of football’s newly-renovated Kyle Field, Texas A&M is now considering new facilities for its other programs. The softball team is currently playing out of Aggie Softball Complex, a 1,750-seat ballpark that opened in 1994. Some university officials feel that the facility is outdated, both from a player perspective as well as on the game day experience side.
Current plans call for a new softball facility to be constructed as part of a $68 million project that would also include a new track and field stadium. Of that $68 million, $28.6 would be directed towards the softball facility, and the project is being heavily considered by the university. More from The Texas Tribune:
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.
Texas A&M officials expect that donations will be a major funding source for the project. Pending the approval of the university’s Board of Regents, both stadiums could be constructed on the west side of Texas A&M’s campus by the end of 2017.
Softball facilities have been on the upswing recently. Should this project go through, it stands reason that other universities would follow Texas A&M’s lead. One of the biggest success stories in the college softball ballpark landscape this year has been the opening of the University of Oregon’s Jane Sanders Stadium, which debuted to three consecutive sellout crowds in late March.