It’s one of the hottest tickets in town and it shows. Fans who wait until the last minute to see New Mexico United are being met with long lines, and the team is trying to fix it.
“This last weekend was electric,” said United fan Andrew Gunn.
The United game was the place to be on Saturday night.
“To have a hometown team is really something special,” said Gunn.
More than 12,000 fans packed Isotopes park, all watching as the United blew the team from Salt Lake City out of the water, ultimately winning the game 5-1.
However, fans who showed up too close to the start of the game missed a lot of the action.
“They wanted to come in about 15 minutes early and they couldn’t get [inside] in time for the game. It was just too crazy,” said United fan Dylan Cuellar.
Video taken about 15 minutes after kick-off on Saturday night shows two large lines still trying to funnel into one entrance.
“I do feel really bad for people who felt they weren’t able to get in in a timely manner and they missed some of the game or some of the goals,” said New Mexico United Owner and CEO Peter Trevisani.
Trevisani says at Isotopes Park, all guests have to go into one of the two entrances to get their bags searched and go through a metal detector.
“That’s really the bottleneck and there’s no better workaround,” said Trevisani.
Though, Trevisani says they are working on organizing the lines outside the park so there’s no cutting. They’re also opening the gates earlier so fans have more time to get inside.
“We’ve moved up opening the gates to 90 minutes instead of an hour before the game. So, there’s a longer range to come,” said Trevisani.
Trevisani recommends fans get to the stadium at least a half hour before the game starts, saying he wants people to have fun at their temporary home.
“It’s going to be a multiyear process, but we’re going to start working on that now and start working through the logic, and we’re going to get a stadium,” said Trevisani.
Fans who KRQE News 13 spoke with say, these games are worth the wait.
“It’s totally worth it. This is very different for New Mexico, we’re turning out the highest crowds for the leagues that we’re in,” said Cuellar.
Trevisani says the team having their own stadium is still a few years off. Previously, city council commissioned a study on building a soccer stadium in the downtown area for a different team. The results came out last year. A 10,000 seat stadium would cost anywhere from $25-45 million.
The United’s next home game is Friday, April 26 at 7:30.