The Texas A&M Board of Regents approved new stadiums for the track and field and softball teams Wednesday that will cost a combined $68 million.
The new track and field stadium will cost $39.8 million, and a new softball stadium will cost $28.6 million, according to the university.
“We appreciate the support and cooperation from the Regents, Chancellor (John) Sharp, President (Michael) Young and the Texas A&M administration as we move forward with these important projects," Texas A&M Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said in a statement. "This is a sincere commitment by our institution and our donors to both softball and track and field. Both of these programs have waited for quite some time for these new facilities, and I know our coaches and student-athletes are extremely excited.”
Texas A&M will spend an additional $10 million to move several of the university’s existing intramural fields to make way for the new stadiums.
The Frank G. Anderson Track and Field Complex opened in 1986, while the current Aggie Softball Complex was built in 1994.
The new 52,000-square-foot outdoor track and field complex will have seating for 3,000 fans and have hospitality amenities, a press box, broadcast capabilities and service areas. The complex also will have areas for skill development, medical care, locker rooms, coaches’ offices and a lobby celebrating Texas A&M’s success in the sport. The Texas A&M men and women each won NCAA national championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011, with the men adding an NCAA title in 2013 and the women adding an NCAA title in 2014.
The new track stadium will attract a range of meets, including NCAA and Olympic qualifier meets. Texas A&M last hosted an NCAA outdoor track and field meet in 2004.
“The fact that Coach Pat Henry and the men’s and women’s track and field teams have won eight national championships without competing at an outdoor home meet is unbelievable,” Woodward said. “Our student-athletes deserve a championship-caliber home and the opportunity to compete in front of the 12th Man and our local community.”
The new softball stadium will seat 2,000 fans and include premium club seats, staff offices, locker rooms for home and visitors as well as an umpires’ locker room, press box, full broadcast capabilities and service areas. The complex also will have a 6,750-square-foot indoor hitting facility.
Under coach Jo Evans, the Texas A&M softball team has appeared in 14 consecutive NCAA tournaments and went to the Women’s College World Series in 2007 and 2008, finishing as the runner-up in 2008.
“The softball team truly needs a stadium that is up to par with others in the SEC, which is vital for recruiting and our ability to compete for championships,” Woodward said. “We have a loyal fan following in the sport of softball, and this stadium will include all of the modern conveniences that the 12th Man should have.”
Construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2018 seasons. The athletic department is accepting donations through its 12th Man Foundation.
Earlier this month, USA Today reported the Texas A&M athletic department led the nation in revenue in 2014-15 with $192.6 million, a $73.1 million increase from the previous year. Of that revenue, $92 million came from contributions to the athletic department. About $58.5 million of the donated funds went to the $485 million renovation at Kyle Field, the Aggies’ football stadium, USA Today reported.