A judge approved a class action status for a lawsuit filed by former Texas A&M students against Kyle Field’s seating and ticketing policy for endowed donors this week.
State District Judge Delinda Gibbs Walker approved the 52-page opinion on Tuesday, certifying a class suit from several hundred A&M endowed donors, the Houston Chronicle reports. The lawsuit was first filed by Nathan Hines in 2017; he claimed that the foundation deprived him and other of ticketing and parking rights at the stadium when they had made endowment agreements with the 12th Man Foundation in the 1980s and ’90s.
In 2015, Kyle Field was expanded to 102,733 seats as a part of a $480 million project. Owners and beneficiaries of the Texas A&M University 12th Man Foundation Permanently Endowed Scholarship Program Agreement were promised seating benefits and home football parking benefits. The lawsuit alleges breach of contract and other violations by the foundation and its directors. The plaintiffs, which includes the several hundred donors, seek either proper seat and parking locations restored at Kyle Field or damages, costs, and fees.
Attorneys of Bill Cobb of Austin, Scott McQuarrie of Porter, and Blair Bisbey of Newton claim that the endowments were a critical factor to financially expand the stadium, yet “the foundation reneged on the promises made to endowment owners.”
“It did so by reselling their coveted parking locations and, later, their ‘lifetime seat locations’ that foundation documents show they had been promised, to the ‘next generation’ of big donors in order to fund Kyle Field renovations,” the attorneys said in a statement, claiming that officials began to downgrade parking rights guaranteed to longtime donors in 2004.
The lawsuit notes that the foundation’s “drive for money displaced honor,” and Hines hopes that the foundation will “correct its mistake and voluntarily do right by the endowment owners.”
A trial date has not been set at this time.