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Aggie Memorial Stadium is an outdoor football stadium on the campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The stadium is the home field of the FBS independent New Mexico State Aggies. The venue opened in September 1978 and the current seating capacity is 30,343. The artificial playing field sits at an elevation of 3,980 feet (1,213 m) above sea level. It is the former home of NM State Aggies women's soccer.[2]

Aggie Memorial Stadium
Aggie Memorial Stadium - West Side Stands & Press Box 01.JPG
A view of the west side stands and press box
Aggie Memorial Stadium is located in New Mexico
Aggie Memorial Stadium
Aggie Memorial Stadium
Location in New Mexico
Aggie Memorial Stadium is located in the United States
Aggie Memorial Stadium
Aggie Memorial Stadium
Location in the United States
LocationStewart St & Payne St, Las Cruces, NM 88003
Coordinates32°16′47″N 106°44′28″W / 32.27972°N 106.74111°W / 32.27972; -106.74111Coordinates: 32°16′47″N 106°44′28″W / 32.27972°N 106.74111°W / 32.27972; -106.74111
OwnerNew Mexico State University
OperatorNew Mexico State University
Capacity30,343
SurfaceHybrid Bermuda Grass (1978–2013)
UBU Sports Speed S5-M synthetic turf (2014–present)
Construction
Broke groundMarch 1977
OpenedSeptember 16, 1978
Construction cost$4 million
($15.4 million in 2018 dollars[1])
ArchitectCraig Protz of Bohening-Protz Associates;
Caudill Rowlett Scott of Houston, Consultants
Tenants
New Mexico State Aggies (NCAA) (1978–present)

Contents

Prior to 1978Edit

Prior to 1978, the Aggies had played on the same site since 1933. Located just to the northeast of Hadley Hall (the university's Administration building), and originally known as Quesenberry Field, the original Memorial Stadium was built over it in 1950. It was dedicated as a memorial to New Mexico A&M students who had died in World War II, World War I, and the Spanish–American War, among whom was Henry C. Gilbert Jr., whose parents were instrumental in the 10-year-long fundraising drive. Memorial Stadium, which served for 28 seasons, was replaced both due to its small size (at maximum, the seating capacity was only 12,155) and the want of an expanded athletics plant with more infrastructure and parking. (Currently Memorial Tower, which was originally part of the press box of the stadium, is the only remaining reminder of the stadium. It is now structurally incorporated into the university's Health and Social Services building and houses a memorial lounge and computer lab.)

The "New" stadiumEdit

The "new" Aggie Memorial Stadium, dedicated to alumni who had served in the Korean War and Vietnam War, was built for $4 million over a period of 18 months. It was funded by the state legislature as part of a capital project on the campus. The first home game saw the Aggies defeat rival UTEP 35–32 on September 16, 1978. 20 years (and 10 days) later, the Aggies and Miners played to the largest crowd in stadium history, with 32,993 in attendance to see the Aggies win again, 33–24.

Stadium designEdit

The stadium, designed by alumnus Craig Protz of Bohering-Protz Associates, was built just to the south of the Pan American Center, the home of Aggie basketball. The stadium boasts a unique design in which earth that was excavated to construct the lower bowl and field level was moved to the sides of the stadium to support the upper level, with a street level concourse dividing the lower and upper bowls. The first level of seating wraps around the field, except for two 100-foot (30 m) wide gaps behind each end zone. The southern end is a grass berm, with the Fulton Athletics Center, a $6 million structure constructed in 2004 housing athletics offices, an athletic training and education center, and club facilities, behind it. The northern end leads to the locker room facilities and main entrance to the stadium. Because of these gaps it was previously impossible to access the east side of the stadium from the west, and vice versa, without exiting the stadium and re-entering on the other side. A bridge over the north ramp constructed prior to the 2006 season now allows fans to cross from one side of the stadium to the other. The seating extends to a rounded second level on either side of the field, which extends the length of the playing field. The curved, undulating design of the upper level is reminiscent of similarly designed structures such as Memphis' Liberty Bowl Stadium and the now-demolished Tampa Stadium, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale.

Aggie Memorial Stadium

ImprovementsEdit

The original four pole sodium vapor lighting system is now augmented by four additional smaller poles added prior to the 2005 season to increase the stadium's lighting capacity for televised night games. For the 2007 season, a new $1.5 million scoreboard including a 38'x23' video screen has been added to the facility, as well as a new team meeting and video room complex adjacent to the field house on the stadium's north end.

Other usesEdit

In addition to football, the stadium occasionally hosts major concerts and other large outdoor gatherings on campus.

ConcertsEdit

Artists that have performed at the stadium include Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Faith No More, The Eagles, Vans Warped Tour & Paul McCartney, among others.

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
August 27, 1992 Guns N' Roses
Metallica
Faith No More Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour 35,373 / 35,373 $972,758
April 20, 1993 Paul McCartney The New World Tour 30,058 / 30,058 $1,002,625 [3]
May 3, 1995 The Eagles Hell Freezes Over Tour [4]

Other eventsEdit

During the 2005–06 renovation of the nearby Pan American Center, the stadium hosted the university's commencement ceremonies, although they returned to the Pan Am following completion of the renovations. Also, Mayfield High School and Las Cruces High School play against each other in the stadium every year in November. (Varsity only). Starting in November 2017, Onate High School and Centennial High School will play each other in the stadium to start a new tradition.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ http://www.nmstatesports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=1900&ATCLID=3748849
  3. ^ Paul McCartney Setlist Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA on 20 April 1993
  4. ^ https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/eagles/1995/aggie-memorial-stadium-las-cruces-nm-1bdbd5dc.html

External linksEdit