- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The facilities race continues.
Earlier this week, Texas announced its plan to explore the possibility of expanding Darrell K Royal Stadium with renovations of the south end zone. The school will study the feasibility of completing the south end zone with a focus on “revenue generation,” according to a UT release.
The school’s release comes at the same time as Texas A&M’s renovation of Kyle Field this spring, taking the rival Aggies’ stadium to a capacity of 102,000, surpassing DKR’s capacity of 100,119. The Aggies' move to the SEC and on-field success with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has already made major waves in the state of Texas and across the college football landscape, and has given coach Kevin Sumlin plenty of weapons in his arsenal on the recruiting trail as the Aggies battle for the state’s elite talents. The Kyle Field expansion adds another weapon to that arsenal.
Any planned expansion of DKR is in preliminary stages, with funds needing to be raised, a budget finalized and a construction timeline cemented it can become reality. But if the south end zone renovation eventually comes to fruition, it could push the overall capacity of DKR above 115,000, surpassing Michigan Stadium to make it the largest college football stadium in the nation.
Surely you didn’t expect UT to sit back and watch Texas A&M grab the bragging rights of having the largest football stadium in Texas without a response?
At an initial glance, it might look like pride is dictating the school's decision-making. But a stadium upgrade would help ensure new coach Charlie Strong isn’t left behind when he hits the recruiting trail. And quality recruiting builds the foundation of success in college football.
Strong and Texas already have recruiting advantages galore as college football’s most profitable and richest program, but UT’s desire to pursue as many advantages as possible and expand its home stadium should pay off, both in the program’s bottom line and on the recruiting trail.
4hBrandon Chatmon and Jake Trotter