UPDATE: New Mexico State athletic director Mario Moccia told KTSM on Thursday that 15-20 donors are paying for the NMSU band’s tickets to play at the UNM-NMSU game in ABQ on Saturday. Travel and hotel accommodations had already been built into the band’s budget for the game.


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State University’s marching band ‘The Pride of New Mexico’ is facing a situation of paying around $20 per seat for Saturday’s rivalry game between the New Mexico State University and University of New Mexico football teams at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

New Mexico State University’s News22 was first to report the University of New Mexico Athletics Department’s request of payment from NMSU’s marching band.

University of New Mexico Director of Athletics Eddie Nuñez sent KTSM a statement on Wednesday regarding the situation.

“The game contract calls for 450 complementary tickets for the visiting team. Those tickets may be used however the visiting team sees fit, and each athletic department always has an option to purchase tickets above and beyond the complementary allotment for their respective students and fan base. When this occurs, common practice, and a practice we follow at UNM, is to purchase those tickets for our students.”  — Eddie Nuñez

New Mexico State University Director of Athletics Mario Moccia told KTSM on Wednesday that historically both universities’ marching bands have gotten into each other’s stadiums for its football rivalry games for free despite the ticket allotment. Moccia added that the allotment tickets are usually used for players and coaches’ families.

Moccia also said that the University of New Mexico is departing from that long-term standing.

Moccia did say that NMSU’s marching band has budgeted for travel for Saturday’s game.

Moccia said the situation is still being sorted out. A decision regarding the NMSU marching band’s attendance for the game is expected to be made soon.