ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s the fifth time in New Mexico State University history and the first time since 2017 that NMSU football will play in a bowl game. “We were unbelievably excited,” said Mario Moccia, NMSU Athletics Director. But it takes a lot to make it happen.
“It’s one thing to be invited, and that’s tremendous, but with the location and then, you know, you certainly want to take the band and the spirit squad, you’re on national tv, you’ve got to take the team, so you know, it’s a pretty expensive endeavor,” said Moccia. He estimated the trip in total could cost nearly $700,000.
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Some fans have their trips booked. “I was fortunate to have some time off, so attending it was very important, and I think it’s going to be a great trip,” said Andy Sandoval, NMSU alum. “Hearing that they were going to a bowl, definitely, I was going to try to make every effort to attend. It’s just so important to support the program.”
But the university knows it may be tough for fans to get to Detroit. “It’s a great opportunity for our institution. However, we know the day after Christmas in Detroit is not very easy to get to for Las Cruces folks and a lot of our alums,” said Moccia.
The university is getting $150,000 for the trip from the Quick Lane Bowl. Per their contract with the bowl, NMSU will get all the revenue for the first 2,000 tickets sold. It will split the revenue 50-50 with the bowl for the following 2,000 tickets sold. NMSU has launched a ticket incentive program for fans who can’t make it but still want to help. “It’s really a fundraising campaign guised in ticket sales promotion,” said Moccia.
Depending on how many tickets a fan buys, they can get different keepsake items like signed NMSU swag. The lowest donation is $89 for one bowl ticket. The buyer would get to keep a commemorative bowl ticket. The highest donation is $4,450 for 50 tickets. The buyer will get a commemorative ticket signed by head football coach Jerry Kill, a long sleeve team design bowl shirt, a team design sweatshirt, a Jerry Kill-signed football, a 2022 NMSU helmet, and a team designed Under Armour travel suit. In less than 24 hours of the program launching, $31,754 has been raised.
“It tells me that people are excited about Aggie football,” said Moccia. NMSU also had a foundation offer to pay for the school’s band to attend the bowl game.
“Going to any bowl for the program is definitely a plus for the university,” said Sandoval. “Any fans that will go will experience and have a great time.”
The Quick Lane Bowl is the only game played on December 26. The match-up with Bowling Green will air nationally on ESPN, which the university is some extra exposure the university is also excited about.