If you watched Tuesday night’s Lobo game on ESPN, you heard Hall of Famer Bill Walton raving about Albuquerque for two hours straight. The city’s Department of Tourism heard it too and loved every minute of it.
“Since that opening tip it’s been all Lobos,” said former NBA player turned broadcaster Bill Walton during Tuesday night’s Lobos game.
Walton was on fire with his comments, showing his love of the University of New Mexico, the PIT and all things Albuquerque during the ESPN broadcast.
“We were celebrating the glories of this magnificent state,” said Walton during the broadcast. “The Land of Enchantment, the shadow of the watermelon, that’s what ‘sandia’ means…’manzano’ means apples.”
Being his usual quirky self, Walton couldn’t stop talking about the places he visited, like Route 66, the Frontier Restaurant and the Balloon Museum.
“He loved the museum,” said Balloon Museum employee Loretta Sayers. “He loved the facility, he thought it was beautiful.”
“In our business, it’s all about getting the word out and somebody as credible as Bill Walton talk about Frontier, we can’t ask for more about that,” said Frontier owner Larry Rainosek.
“One of those special days in your life when you go to Albuquerque with three U’s and everything falls into place,” said Walton during the broadcast.
The city’s Tourism Department got a two-hour national ad for free.
“We just absolutely loved Bill Walton’s commentary,” said Visit ABQ President and CEO Tania Armenta. “His comments were spot on, it added great flavor and extra spice to the game for sure.”
“What a spectacular place this is to be,” said Walton during the broadcast. “The Rio Grande right down the middle of town. Over the top of the Bosque of cotton trees, looking for porcupines, coyotes.”
People who KRQE News 13 spoke with said Walton truly immersed himself and became one of the locals. Walton even went up in a hot air balloon.
Walton, who’s also known as ‘the Big Red’ called the PIT one of the greatest venues in all of sports.