ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — The Lobo and Aggie football teams will face off for the first time since a brawl in Las Cruces last year led to a deadly UNM campus shooting. So how is UNM planning on stepping up security? News 13 questioned the athletic director at news conference Tuesday. UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez says they’ll have more staff on hand at the game, but they’re also asking fans for help.
The last time the Lobos faced off against the Aggies, the heated rivalry boiled over into an all-out brawl in Las Cruces. Police at the game were found in lapel video to be clearly outmatched. While it’s unclear what sparked that fight, the aftermath of it led to a deadly shooting on the UNM Campus a month later that left UNM Student Brandon Travis dead and former NMSU basketball player Mike Peake shot in the leg.
Now, just four days away from the next rivalry game in Albuquerque, Nuñez is addressing concerns about security at University Stadium: “We’re trying to look as much as we can forward and trying to prepare ourselves to have a game right now with tickets trending towards 30,000; we plan every event like it’s a big event here.”
“From our perspective, really our focus is just increasing the number of officers of safety to help with traffic, parking, safety, security, everything that we do so nothing different of the actual operations but more of an emphasis with the number of people that will be attending,” Nuñez says.
Nuñez says this will be the second football game to have metal detectors, and they’re planning on adding more as the season goes along. He says they’re focused on making game day a good experience for everyone.
“Understanding that look, things are possibly going to happen. And we’ve got to make sure that we’re prepared when those things happen to make sure that we can get in front of it and try to do what we can,” Nuñez says.
To the fans hoping to attend this weekend: “We want them to enjoy themselves. We want them to have fun. But we want them to be responsible,” Nuñez says. Nuñez is asking fans to come early and to be prepared with tickets ready before they get to the gates.
The Lobos and Aggies have also agreed to bring back the men’s basketball rivalry games that were canceled last season. Both games will happen in December.