Point/Counterpoint: Students sound off about funding Kyle Field Renovations

USA TODAY Sports

In the recent Student Body Elections, 65% of Texas A&M students opposed increasing sports pass prices and fees to support renovations to Kyle Field. We wanted to hear from students on both sides of the issue, so we let them take over GBH in this Point/Counterpoint. Just like the vote, 2/3 of our guest writers opposed the referendum and 1/3 supported it. Read their responses and post your own thoughts in the comments section below.

Point #1

Students should not foot the bill for a Kyle Field facelift

By Elise Featherly '15, Telecommunication Media Studies

Elise

If there’s one thing every Aggie can agree on, it’s that the atmosphere inside Kyle Field trumps all other stadiums in college football regardless of the smell, or the bats, or long sweaty treks from first deck to third (which I think is a rite of passage to freshmen). Old Ags, new Ags and visitors alike don’t return for the beautiful scenery that Kyle Field offers (although there is an awesome view of the College Station skyline from third deck). They return for the organized chaos of yells and songs that the student body has boiled down to a science. They return for the never-ending energy of The 12th Man. They return for the "pulse of Aggieland." They return for the countless memories they’ve shared in this place, and sometimes they return for the actual football game. No matter what Kyle Field looks like, tickets will continue to sell out and people will continue to donate money.

The referendum that was sent out by the university last week was misleading and the student body overwhelmingly (65%) voted to not increase sports pass prices and student fees to help pay for the Kyle Field renovation. As a two-year sports pass holder, I completely agree with the students. I love my Aggie Football just as much as the next "98%er" and have been to every home game. However, let’s face it, college is expensive and I know that neither I, nor my parents can afford the increase. I do not think it is fair to ask for the students to foot the bill for this when we already pay for tuition and housing, which is constantly increasing. Also, members of the Corps of Cadets are required to purchase a sports pass no matter what the cost may be. Once the prices for sports passes and student fees go up they’re not going to come down.

Along with this, the current students at Texas A&M will not be the ones enjoying all of the renovated amenities Kyle Field has to offer. Former students and investors are more likely to see the benefits of it. Once complete, more people will start buying tickets. The University will be making more money, and the students who paid for it will not see any of it. It's like the students are investors, who don't get to see the return on their investment. So remind me again why we should have to pay for something we won’t even get to enjoy?

Surely there has to be some other way to pay for the expenses of renovating Kyle Field. Of course I would love to see Kyle get a facelift, some of the problems be fixed and overall for everyone to be happy. In my opinion, however, give me a ticket, 12th Man towel and some "wood" to stand on and I will be content. If the university cannot come up with another way to pay for this renovation, then I’m sure we can ask the 35% of students that voted in favor of raising student fees and sports pass prices to pick up the tab for the rest of us.

Point #2

Keep your hands off my stack

By Trevor Magers '14, Political Science

Trevor

I was opposed to the proposed option to raise the price of sports passes and student fees for the renovation of Kyle field for one main reason: Money.

While some students are more financially blessed or are on full scholarship, many students like me are not. We are paying for our education through FAFSA and student loans. To raise the cost of seeing our beloved Aggie Football team play would be too much of a financial burden for many students to afford. While it would be awesome to have Kyle renovated to new glory as seen in the leaked renderings, it would come at too great of an expense for current students if the money was raised through student fees and sports passes.

I consider myself as redass as the next die-hard Aggie, so being called a 2-percenter because I'm opposed to paying for Kyle's renovation out of my own pocket is an insult. I'm sure many of my fellow Aggies who are opposed to the referendum are also insulted.

Counterpoint

Pay it forward, Ags

By Taylor Travis '15, Applied Exercise Physiology

Taylor

First of all, how much money are we talking about here? Is this really a big sacrifice on the part of us students? If you break down the numbers, sports passes will only increase in price by $11.48 a game. That really isn’t a huge increase, especially when you take into account that as students, we get the best seats in Kyle Field. There has been an ongoing effort to keep the student section in the same place, and as students, we should be more than willing to spend the extra $11 and change to show our appreciation.

Secondly, the time value of money tells us that the price of sports passes will go up over time. We see consistent increases in tuition and fees. If sports passes will cost more eventually regardless of what we do, why wait? Let’s go ahead and pay the extra dollars and know that the money we are spending is going toward Kyle Field renovation which is a great cause. Who wouldn’t want to say they had a part in building the finest college football venue in America? Have you seen the renderings? The new Kyle Field, upon completion, will be the best and most recognizable stadium in all of football. Don’t you want to be a part of that? Am I the only one willing to pay a few extra bucks now in order to enjoy a state-of-the-art facility in the future? I will have graduated by the time this stadium is complete, however I plan on coming back regularly for football games.

Last but certainly not least, former students spend big bucks for season tickets. I have always been aware of this, but never looked at the numbers until recently. In order to receive season tickets, former students donate hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars every year. Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for the money being spent by the former students, these sports passes would be substantially more expensive. I have heard countless current students say that the former students should be the ones pulling out their wallets and paying for this Kyle Field renovation. I couldn’t disagree more. This won’t be the first time student fees have been raised to construct new facilities. Have you been to the Recreation Center? The money for that came straight out of the pockets of students a couple decades ago. Let’s pay it forward, Ags and put all of the negativity toward "New Army" to rest.

Where do you stand? Comment below.

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