ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico United soccer team on Thursday learned the team’s schedule includes eight home games, but no one knows yet if it will be able to play in New Mexico under the state’s public health order.
The team’s first home match is slated for the end of the month. If they can play home games they’ll be playing at the University of New Mexico’s soccer stadium instead of Isotopes Park. “We’ve been working really hard to figure out how to come back and play safely. We feel like we’ve been able to work that out,” New Mexico United owner & CEO Peter Trevisani said.
The governor’s office said it’s optimistic the state will be in a place where it can have sports without fans by the first home match on July 29, but also noted that could change, depending on the virus spread.
Right now, New Mexico’s mass gatherings ban would prevent fans in the stands or even an entire team on the field. Plus, travel restrictions through at least July 15 mean New Mexico United would have to quarantine for two weeks whenever the club returns from away games.
Their opponents would have to do the same when they travel to New Mexico. Trevisani said the team is already quarantined together.
The team also announced Thursday its new agreement with UNM Athletics to play on the soccer field, if the state allows home matches, because of the complications with Isotopes Park this year.
“It may not make sense, really, for us not having any fans in the stadium to play at Isotopes Park with the field conversion and just some other issues there so we’ve been speaking with UNM about the soccer complex,” Trevisani said.
New Mexico United have to pay to convert the field at Isotopes Park for every home game and pay rent to the Isotopes. There’s no word yet what kind of rent they’ll be paying UNM.
New Mexico United’s first match in the restart will be in Colorado Springs on July 11.
Meanwhile, Isotopes Park will be in use for the next few months as Rockies minor leaguers will be using the field for practice in case the Rockies need replacements during its 60-game season, which starts later this month.
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