UNM working to draw more fans to the Pit

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The Lobos have some catching up to do with season tickets sales, but UNM is hoping new changes will help draw more fans to The Pit this season.

UNM Athletics says it doesn’t have a specific goal for season ticket sales, but claims it’s on target to match last year’s 8,700.

“We’re right around 7,200 right now,” UNM Deputy Athletic Director David Williams said. “We have some other programs that are still in the process of being worked. Cumulus is still selling their ‘sweet deals,’ which allows you to get the tickets for 50 percent off.”

This follows the Lobos’ two worst years for attendance in The Pit’s history, averaging around 11,000 fans a game. Compare that to the 2013-2014 season when an average of more than 15,000 people filled the arena.

“I don’t think UNM has really that big of a sports fan base,” UNM freshman Shalyn Caudill stated.

Students said their team needs more support.

“I would say boost the morale a little bit. I’d say it’s kind of low,” UNM freshman Joseph Goddin added.

To improve the fan experience this year, the Lobos have a new, more user-friendly system for people to buy and scan their tickets from their phones.

“The real difference is most of it will be mobile, and so you’ll be able to pull up your tickets on your phone,” Williams explained. “If you choose not to go to a game, you can simply transfer your ticket to your neighbor or friend.”

Plus, a couple of games are expected to draw big crowds.

“People are excited for NM State coming to town [and] they’ll be excited about Nevada coming to town,” Williams said.

That Nevada game on Feb. 19 will feature the return of coach Steve Alford who led the Lobos through six successful seasons before bolting for UCLA.

UNM still finished 13th in the country for attendance last season and first in the Mountain West.

The Lobos open their season with an exhibition game against Eastern New Mexico at the Pit on Nov. 6.

Fans will get their first chance to see the Lobos this Saturday with the annual Cherry and Silver game at The Pit at 6 p.m.

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