Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu

High schools may decline turf

Part of the agreement between the State Legislature and the UNM Athletics Department for new athletic turf was allowing high school football playoffs to use the field as well.

The State Legislature gave UNM $1.38 million for the new turf, but high school football might not be played on it.

Robert Zayas, associate director of the New Mexico Activities Association, said talks are still in place as to whether NMAA will actually use the field for football playoffs.

In New Mexico high school playoffs, a team is granted home-field advantage based on where the last playoff match up between the two teams was played, and the next game is played at the opposite venue.

Zayas said if all playoff games are played in University Stadium, the 50-year-old rule over where playoff games take place would end.

“The thing it boils down to is what our membership wants to do,” he said. “It’s not so much up to discussion between our executive director and (UNM Athletics Director) Paul Krebs, but it’s up to our board of directors and if they want to modify our playoff format.”

The specific purpose of the money is to take out the current grass field at UNM and convert it to athletic turf.

UNM Board of Regents Vice President Don Chalmers said the money was given to the school on a one-time basis.

“It’s a capital expenditure,” Chalmers said. “And those monies come one time for a specific purpose.”

Chalmers said the estimated $1 million it will cost for the turf will pay for itself over time.

“It will be more efficient from a maintenance standpoint, a use of water standpoint and the fact that it is artificial turf (means) we will be able to use the turf more often,” he said.

Before taking the money, UNM had to agree with the state that the new field could be used by NMAA too, mainly for high school football playoffs.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox

Because of wear and tear on grass, University Stadium has only been used for six or seven home football games each year.

Because of its durability, the artificial turf gives UNM the ability to extend use of the field to other football programs, Chalmers said.

In February, a $12 million renovation began on the Lobo baseball field and, when completed, the field will be used by local high schools as well.

Chalmers said it’s important for the community and UNM to work together as often as possible.

“I think it’s smart for the state and I know the University wants to cooperate as best we can with all of the public schools in the state of New Mexico,” he said.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Lobo