Aggie Memorial Stadium

Aggie Memorial Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in the southwestern United States, located on the campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is the home field of the FBS independent New Mexico State Aggies.

Aggie Memorial Stadium
Aggie Memorial Stadium - West Side Stands & Press Box 01.JPG
View from southeast corner in 2015
Las Cruces is located in the United States
Las Cruces
Las Cruces
Location in the United States
Las Cruces is located in New Mexico
Las Cruces
Las Cruces
Location in New Mexico
AddressStewart St & Payne St
LocationNew Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New MexicoU.S.
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
Capacity28,853 (2015–present)
30,343 (1978–2014)
Record attendance32,993 (vs. UTEP, 1998)
SurfaceArtificial turf (2014–present)
Hybrid Bermuda grass
(1978–2013)
Construction
Broke groundMarch 1977; 45 years ago (1977-03)
OpenedSeptember 16, 1978;
44 years ago
 (1978-09-16)
Construction cost$4 million
($16.6 million in 2021[1])
ArchitectCraig Protz of
Bohening-Protz Associates;
Caudill Rowlett Scott of Houston, Consultants
Tenants
New Mexico State Aggies football (NCAA)
(1978–present)
New Mexico State Aggies women's soccer (NCAA) (2009–2011)
Onate High School and Centennial High School (2017–present)

Opened 45 years ago in 1978, the current seating capacity is 28,853. Its artificial turf playing field is aligned north-northwest to south-southeast at an elevation of 3,980 feet (1,215 m) above sea level. It is the former home of Aggies women's soccer.[2]

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 (maximum seating capacity of 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.

Its inaugural game in 1978 saw the Aggies defeat nearby rival Texas–El Paso (UTEP) 35–32 on September 16. Twenty years (and ten days) later, the Aggies and UTEP Miners played to the largest attendance (32,993) in stadium history, as the Aggies won again, 33–24.

For its first 36 seasons, the playing field was natural grass; UBU Sports Speed S5-M synthetic turf was installed prior to the 2014 season.

Stadium designEdit

Designed by alumnus Craig Protz of Bohering-Protz Associates, the stadium was built just to the south of the Pan American Center, the home of Aggie basketball. It 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-wide (30 m) 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.

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. A $1.5 million scoreboard, including a 38-by-23-foot (11.6 m × 7.0 m) video screen, was added in 2007, as well as a new team meeting and video room complex adjacent to the field house on the stadium's north end. A club level area called Club 27 was added in 2015, which reduced the stadium's total capacity to 28,853, but added 92 club level seats at the cost of $1.1 million.[3]

Aggie Memorial Stadium in 2006

Attendance recordsEdit

Rank Attendance Date Game Result
1 32,993 September 26, 1998 New Mexico State 33, UTEP 24
2 32,904 September 13, 1986 UTEP 47, New Mexico State 33
3 31,839 September 18, 1993 New Mexico State 31, UTEP 14
4 31,214 September 24, 2004 New Mexico 38, New Mexico State 3
5 30,605 October 5, 2002 New Mexico State 49, UTEP 14
6 30,343 September 27, 2009 New Mexico 35, New Mexico State 24
September 15, 2007 New Mexico State 29, UTEP 24
September 3, 2005 UTEP 34, New Mexico State 17
9 30,341 September 14, 1991 UTEP 22, New Mexico State 21
10 30,193 September 16, 1978 New Mexico State 35, UTEP 32
11 30,061 October 29, 1988 UTEP 42, New Mexico State 9
12 29,921 September 2, 1995 New Mexico State 45, UTEP 17
13 29,095 September 9, 2006 New Mexico 34, New Mexico State 28
14 28,587 November 21, 2002 New Mexico State 24, New Mexico 13
15 27,646 September 12, 1992 New Mexico State 42, New Mexico 39
16 27,306 September 4, 1982 UTEP 20, New Mexico State 17
17 27,238 September 8, 2001 Oregon State 27, New Mexico State 22
18 27,201 September 12, 2015 Georgia State 34, New Mexico State 32
19 26,528 October 22, 1994 New Mexico 56, New Mexico State 31
20 26,271 September 29, 1979 New Mexico 30, New Mexico State 16

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 [4]
May 3, 1995 The Eagles Hell Freezes Over Tour [5]

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. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  2. ^ "Aggie Soccer to Play in Aggie Memorial Stadium - NMStateSports.com - The Official Website of New Mexico State Athletics". www.nmstatesports.com. Archived from the original on June 2, 2014.
  3. ^ "Facilities".
  4. ^ Paul McCartney Setlist Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA on 20 April 1993
  5. ^ "Eagles Setlist at Aggie Memorial Stadium, las Cruces". setlist.fm.

External linksEdit