ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – No games, no fans, no ticket sales; the University of New Mexico athletic department’s finances have been hit hard by the coronavirus and now they need help. UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez says they’ve done everything they can to stay afloat and now they are asking the community to pitch in and support the struggling department.
Together for Tomorrow is a COVID relief fund the UNM athletic department is urging people to give to. This past fiscal year, the department lost $3.6 million, and next year, they’re projecting a nearly $5 million shortfall.
“Sixty percent of our revenues have been self-generated revenues, that is extremely hard. Ticket sales, events, things that are out of our control, and we’ve managed to reduce every expense possible,” said Nuñez.
The department did get a little help Thursday. UNM regents voted to ask the state for more funding for the university, including a million dollars that would go to the athletic department.
“Until we have some kind of opportunity to have some kind of contest that can have individuals in the stands, [we] can have ways for us to sell sponsorships. Sell parking, sell concessions, things that we will get back,” Nuñez said.
Nuñez says they’ve had to get creative when it comes to budgeting and have even made the hard decision to cut certain programs. He hopes the community will step in and fill in the gap. “We have a huge challenge in front of us and we’re trying to find ways to overcome it,” said Nunez.
The regents voted 4-2 to help the department. The two opposed to giving the athletic department more money said they would rather see the money spent on faculty pay and academic needs. People can contribute to the COVID relief fund online.