ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Saturday is the first time since March 2020 that Lobo basketball fans will be allowed to watch their team play in person at The Pit. The University of New Mexico shares its plan on how to keep everyone safe.
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Fans were not allowed at The Pit for the entire 2020-21 season but this year, they’ll be back and hopefully in true Lobo fashion, The Pit will be packed. “It is going to be loud, in one word. I think it’s going to be loud, it’s going to be electric, I am super, super excited,” said UNM junior Kameron Urban.
This basketball season comes with some COVID-safe protocols. COVID vaccines are not required but mask-wearing, except when eating or drinking, is required.
“We certainly have had some season ticket holders and some others say they just prefer to not come to a game if they have to wear a mask. We have gotten that feedback but we understand that this is going to probably be a little bit less of a year for ticket sales for us because of the mask mandate but it is what it is. We’re going to make the best of it and we’re going to make The Pit rock again,” said David Williams, UNM deputy athletic director.
Lobo fans say their excitement outweighs a mask. “It bothers me a little bit because it’s hard to breathe with those things on, you know what I mean? But at the same time, I was more pissed off last year because I couldn’t watch the game or couldn’t be here,” said Lobo fan Joe Archuleta.
While cheering in a mask may not be ideal, fans are thankful for the privilege to be able to return to The Pit. “The students’ section in The Pit is going to show out no matter what. I don’t think a thin piece of cloth is going to stop us from going 110%,” Urban said. “I also realize it can be taken away at any moment and so I don’t think that anyone is going to take a second of that game clock for granted.”
The men’s ‘cherry and silver’ game is Saturday at 2 p.m. The women’s exhibition game is on Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is free.