July 21, 2024

University of New Mexico looks to use some state funds for athletic facility upgrades

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The clock is ticking for Governor Michelle Lujan Grisam who has just days left to sign off on which New Mexico projects will get millions in state funding. The University of New Mexico (UNM) is among those now holding its breath hoping for cash to help bolster athletic facilities.

Lobo Athletics asked for tens of millions of dollars for upgrades at University Stadium. That was rejected, but some smaller projects may still happen. “Trying to reinvest where we can,” said Eddie Nuñez, athletic director for the University of New Mexico.

With a $50,000,00 ask this session, UNM athletics was hoping state lawmakers could help cover some big costs to revamp their football stadium. “It’s one of those facilities that’s been around for a long time and besides from hosting our football games, it hosts multiple other events, including the New Mexico Bowl,” Nuñez explained.

Some upgrades under consideration include a new video board. “It’s improve the sound, it’s improve the video quality, it’s improving the experience,” Nuñez said. “We want to do this at The Pit, we want to do it at the football stadium, we want to do it at all the locations.”

Nuñez also wants the stadium to get new entrances and rework concession stands. It’s imperative that we do this so that we can continue to provide the experience that we want for our fans, and those that come visit,” Nuñez said.

However, a lot of that work will remain on hold for now, as Lobo Athletics got a much smaller pot of funding for various capital projects. Funding starts with $850,000 to pay for “general improvements” to athletic buildings throughout campus. “If that presents itself, this will be a wonderful addition for our student-athletes,” said Nuñez.

Another request asks for more than $900,000 to improve the indoor football practice field, and nearly $3,000,000 to do the same to the Tow Deihm Complex.

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