LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – The New Mexico State Board of Regents approved a bond issuance on Thursday that will, in part, finance a new, $15 million locker room facility for the Aggies’ football team.

The Board approved revenue bonds totaling $28.5 million that will be used for four facility improvement projects across campus, which includes a $15 million locker room addition inside Aggie Memorial Stadium, in the north end zone across from the Hall of Legends.

The facility will not only feature a football locker room, but a nutrition center; mental health facility; and athletic training facilities that other athletes besides football players will be able to use.

With New Mexico State set to join Conference USA in 2023, the facilities upgrade is not only much-needed; it will help the Aggies be more competitive.

“One of the things about having a successful football program is it raises awareness for the institution, which raises ticket sales, which helps us be more self-sufficient,” said NMSU director of athletics Mario Moccia. “That’s a big thing because having that locker room and that facility is something that recruits look at. Rising tides lift all boats; we need that, it’ll help the football program and all of our facilities as we enter into Conference USA.”

The bonds will be paid for by student fees, but in doing so, the students will not incur any extra charges than they’re already paying currently. The bonds will be paid off over the course of 20 years. The Board of Regents approved the bond issuance unanimously.

The Pan American Center will also get some upgrades through the bond, though not at the request of the athletic department, as it is not operated by athletics, but by special events. The arena’s improvements will be $1.2 million to replace retractable seating in the lower bowl; $1.2 million to replace arena seats in the lower bowl; and $900,000 for upper bowl and sound system improvements.

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the Regents vote began an approval process through the state over a three-month period. The New Mexico Finance Authority and the New Mexico State Board of Finance must approve the bonds issuance and if approved, funding could come in by November with construction possible following the 2022 football season.