EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – At both UTEP and New Mexico State, it’s one of the most exciting football seasons in quite some time in the Borderland.
The Miners are coming off their first bowl appearance since 2014 and have talent on the roster to compete again in 2022; the Aggies have a new head coach in Jerry Kill and while there are plenty of questions, there’s also plenty of reasons for optimism.
That has been borne out in ticket sales leading up to the season. Both schools are doing special promotions to get more fans to their respective season openers in Week 0. On Aug. 27, the Miners and Aggies will both play home games: UTEP will host Conference USA foe North Texas and New Mexico State welcomes Nevada to Las Cruces.
As of July 21, UTEP officials told KTSM that over 36,000 tickets had been sold for the season opener. Capacity at Sun Bowl Stadium is 45,971; the Miners haven’t sold out the stadium since 2008, but got 31,658 for last season’s UTSA game.
At NMSU, officials said they’d sold just shy of 10,000 tickets for the Nevada game. Couple that with season and student ticket projections and NMSU is estimating that it’s filled roughly two-thirds of the 28,853 Aggie Memorial seats, with still a month left before kickoff.
The Aggies and Miners will both open fall camp next week. New Mexico State will host its annual media day on Wednesday, July 27, then begin official preseason workouts on Friday, July 29. UTEP will hold its first practices of the fall on Thursday, July 28.
Fall camp can be grueling, but both head coaches have a good idea of what they want to see when practices begin.
“We want to play on our strengths and continue to improve our weaknesses and that’s what I focus on. I don’t focus on the big picture, that’s how you get to where you want to be. Just focus on the day-to-day task,” said UTEP head coach Dana Dimel.
“I think we’ve recruited well to add depth, which we needed and some competition. It’s going to be very competitive in fall camp but we’re looking forward to it,” said Jerry Kill.
UTEP and North Texas kickoff at 7 p.m. on Aug. 27; NMSU and Nevada still do not have a scheduled kickoff time.