ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Bowl announced its new title sponsor on Tuesday. But will the change help increase attendance?
The New Mexico Bowl said the new partnership is all about football and film. The new sponsor is Dreamhouse Productions, a locally owned film production company.
While the bowl will not disclose how much money Dreamhouse is investing, they said it is a four-year partnership. At Tuesday’s news conference, the bowl’s executive director said pairing football and film will get more people going to the games.
“I just believe that it’s going to bring a broader cross-section of fans,” executive director Jeff Siembieda said. “Maybe people who weren’t attracted to a college football game to say, ‘Wow, that’s the film industry around it. I’m going to go check it out.’ I think it’s going to bring more people.”
Some local fans disagree. They said if people don’t come out for University of New Mexico games, they are not going to go to New Mexico Bowl games, which are usually between out-of-state teams.
UNM has only played in it three times since it started in 2006. New Mexico State University just became re-eligible for the New Mexico Bowl this season.
Still, fans are not hopeful about attendance.
“New Mexico does not have the same turnout other cities do,” Albuquerque resident Duke Frederick said. “If you go to UT and Austin, there is 100,000 people. UNM doesn’t have fans like that. The culture is really just not there.”
The executive director said they are working to create a new culture around the bowl game, making it more of an event, and Dreamhouse will help with that.
The game’s attendance has decreased steadily since 2015. Last year’s game saw a little more than 25,000 people. The highest attendance was the inaugural year with more than 34,000 people.
The New Mexico Tourism Department said the game is a great opportunity for people outside the state to experience our culture. Over the past 13 years, viewership averaged nearly 2 million people a game.
According to Visit Albuquerque, an estimated 6,000 out-of-town visitors attend the New Mexico Bowl each year, which correlates to $3.5 million in estimated direct spending.
“We are honored that the New Mexico Bowl calls Albuquerque home and look forward to the broadcast of the city and the state on a national level,” communications manager Brenna Moore said.