ALBUQUERQUE, N.M (KRQE) – Representatives from New Mexico State rolled into to Albuquerque Thursday to celebrate their exciting Arizona Bowl win over Utah State back in December. Aggies Head Football Coach Doug Martin and Athletic Director Mario Moccia greeted a crowd from the Aggies Albuquerque fan base at the Nativo Lodge.
The Aggies brought their Arizona Bowl Championship Trophy for fans to see.
“From the beginning there’s been a lot of great Aggies fans up here in Albuquerque and they’ve been very loyal and very die hard fans for a long time, been extremely supportive of me personally,” said Coach Martin. “To be able to come up here and celebrate success with them for the first time, that’s really special.”
The Aggies not only won the football game Dec. 29, but it was the school’s first trip to the post season in 57 years. Fans responded with a good showing in Tucson and that could bode well for the Aggies the next time they are bowl eligible. Starting next season, the Aggies, who just finished their final season in the Sun Belt Conference, will compete as an independent without a bowl tie in.
Having a solid fan base will be helpful in getting the Aggies a possible at large bid to a bowl in the future.
“The sales tax increase was 12 percent over the month of December. The hotel occupancy was 13 percent for the month, and they attribute that to the bowl game,” said Moccia. “Obviously having almost 90 percent of the hotel rooms taken on the day of the game, hopefully people will say, ‘Wow. The Aggies travel well. We want that team in our bowl game.'”
The Aggies also announced Thursday that they have added a home game with Hawaii on the schedule for 2020 and 2021.