Officials from A&M Consolidated and Bryan high schools said Thursday they have agreed with Texas A&M University on a plan that would allow the Vikings and Tigers to play their annual football game at Kyle Field for the next two years.
Bryan assistant athletic director Harry Francis Jr. said the plan would move the game up two weeks from its usual date in the last week of the regular season. That would allow the Vikings and Tigers to play on weeks when the Aggie football team is scheduled to play road games.
In August, officials from Bryan and Consol said they were talking about moving the game from Kyle Field to their home stadiums as early as next season. They said they were considering the move because they believed A&M officials no longer wanted to host the game because of potential damage to the playing surface.
The possibility of moving the game to 10,000-seat Viking Stadium or 5,500-seat Tigerland Stadium angered fans and saddened players. Kyle Field has a capacity of 82,600 - more than enough room for Crosstown Showdown crowds, usually estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000.
"Everybody gets to experience the atmosphere of a real nice stadium in a very important game to the community," Francis said. "With the high school stadiums, it is going to be very difficult to get everybody into the game."
Consol athletic director and head football coach Jim Slaughter said he was glad to have the game remain at Kyle Field, where it has been played since 1990.
The plan is tentative because officials from the other schools in Bryan and Consol's district, which will be realigned in February, would have to agree to allow the Tigers and Vikings to pick the date of their game. Dates for district games usually are determined by random draw.
"I've been in other districts where they usually work with you on a situation like this," Slaughter said. "Especially with it being in the middle [of district play], I don't think they'll care. Sometimes they worry more about what happens at the end."
Bryan and Consol officials said keeping the Showdown at Kyle Field was worth moving the game from its traditional date at the end of the regular season.
"A good point is it takes some pressure off that last game being everything," Slaughter said. "The bad point is, sometimes it holds your team together because everybody wants to beat Bryan in that last game."
Francis said the games tentatively are planned for Friday nights, on Oct. 20 in 2006 and Oct. 19 in 2007. This year's game will be played on Thursday, Nov. 3, two days before the Aggies play at Texas Tech.
"They said they would work on it and let us play Friday night," Francis said, "especially with it being earlier in the district."
All but one of the 17 football games between Bryan and Consol have been played at Kyle Field. The series began in 1986, when the Tigers played their home games at Kyle Field. Consol visited Viking Stadium for the 1987 game.
Each game since the series resumed in 1990 has been played with Kyle Field as a neutral site, with the teams alternating as the designated home teams.
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