The University of New Mexico announced Friday that season ticket prices for the upcoming football season will be reduced by 10 percent across the board.
Head coach Bob Davie said he has appreciated the support from Lobo fans and feels everyone should focus on the people that show up to see the team play, instead of trying to figure out why there aren't more fans in the stands.
But he would surely welcome more filled seats, and the University is making a targeted effort to boost attendance.
Paul Krebs, vice president for athletics, said the team has a lot of positive things going for it. Fresh off its first bowl win in a decade, the program has also had strong recruiting efforts in recent years, making next season a perfect time to give more fans the opportunity to see how far the program has come.
The reductions in price appeared to come, in part, due to feedback received from surveys sent to season ticket holders.
Krebs said he thought Lobo football tickets were already some of the most reasonably-priced in the nation, but wanted to make sure fans have no reason not to attend games.
Davie said he thought it was a good way to show appreciation and reward those that make the commitment to show their support.
“I think all of us realize by putting more people in that stadium, it helps everybody,” he said.
Krebs and Davie both cited the economic climate as a factor that has made it tough on fans across college football, saying the problem off attendance isn’t unique to the University of New Mexico.
But attendance figures from NCAA.org seem to contradict that claim, as well as debunk the notion that winning cures everything.
In terms of filling the stadium to capacity, New Mexico was dead last in the Mountain West conference in regular season attendance in 2016, despite losing just once in seven home games during the campaign.
Davie admitted that in the past two seasons when the division title was on the line, there were not a lot of people that showed up.
In the 2016 season, the Lobos blew out the Wyoming Cowboys 56-38 to capture a share of the Mountain Division championship in front of 16,698 fans — the smallest home crowd of the season.
Krebs detailed several of the on — and off — the field initiatives that have been aimed at boosting attendance. Some of those included introducing the sale of alcohol during games, revamped concessions, fan giveaways and opening the football field to the general public following the game.
In addition to the reduced season ticket prices, the athletics director also said they plan to create a season ticket package geared specifically toward the business community.
There is also a plan to designate one free lot for game day parking. Krebs said the details are still being worked out, but it is likely to be near WisePies Arena and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Davie said his main focus is putting a good product on the field for fans to watch. He said the team is exciting and fun to watch, citing that they led the country in big plays last season.
He said the heavy lifting has been done and it is time for everyone to come together and build on the success of the program.
“We’re going to be more talented than we’ve been,” he said. “It’s the perfect time.”
Single-game ticket prices are also likely to be reduced, though there was no information about how deep the discount could be. Krebs said the University may also explore the idea of reduced prices in the basketball program.
Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers football and men’s and women’s tennis. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @robert_maler.