It wasn't that long ago local merchants and fans were worried that Texas A&M would play its home football games at Reliant Stadium or Dallas Cowboys Stadium for a season or maybe even two.
Now people are giddy as the Board of Regents on Wednesday could announce that Kyle Field will be expanded to a capacity of 103,000 during the upcoming $450 million renovations set to start after the 2013 season, ending August of 2016.
When it was announced months ago that the seating capacity was expected to be between 95,000 102,500, it was a win-win situation because A&M wouldn't be playing home games in Houston or Dallas.
If the Regents opted for 95,000, that was 12,000 more than Kyle Field's current capacity, a good thing. And if A&M went for 102,500, which would make it the largest stadium in the Southeastern Conference, that would be better, right?
I didn't give the size much thought after that, but maybe I should have.
An A&M athletic department employee told me that one of the hottest debates has been the size with the sides going back and forth.
Some are saying the time is right to think big. If A&M can raise the money, build it, because who knows what the future holds, maybe construction costs will rise sharply. Others are worried about empty seats and atmosphere.
Both sides have great points. The worst things at any venue are empty seats or not enough of them.
The Rose Bowl is pretty neat, right? It seats 94,392. The atmosphere at Alabama last year was cool, right? Bryant-Denny seats 101,821. I'm looking forward to A&M's first SEC game at The Swamp, which seats "only" 88,548.
I don't know about you, but mentally I picture the above venues as rocking, and packed. Kyle Field was that way last year, and ESPN night games in the 1980s were awesome, but it wasn't that long ago there were empty seats for nonconference games and those games against lousy conference teams.
There's no easy answer.
Just look at Blue Bell Park. It's one of the best baseball facilities in the country. Yet there were probably 2,500 at Tuesday's game. Yeah, the opponent was Grambling State, but A&M also was 22-22. There also were lots of empty seats at Reed Arena the last two seasons.
They will come if you build it, providing you win.
Robert Cessna's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org