ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico football team hasn’t had a winning season for seven years. Yet, it’s ticket prices have gone up two times since 2008 and they’re going up again.
A sea of empty seats and lackluster fans. It’s a common sight at University Stadium in the fall.
“The atmosphere is ok sometimes,” said Lobo fan Robert Jones. “Depending on how they’re doing it can be really exciting, but then if they’re not doing very well it kind of sucks the energy out of the stadium.
The Lobo football team hasn’t had a winning record since 2007. In 2009 and 2010 they went one and eleven. In 2014, they won four games, but lost eight.
“Definitely, if they would win a little bit more I would probably go,” said Lobo fan Cherlonda Rabb.
It’s been a struggle for UNM’s athletic department to get fans excited about the football program and it’s decision to increase ticket prices might not help the cause.
“Because they’re not very good it’s like your paying for a product. You know the price goes up and it’s not even that good of a product it’s a little bit frustrating,” said Jones.
All football tickets for the 2015-2016 season will cost about $1 to $5 more.
“It will be going to our overall athletics department,” said UNM Senior Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and Revenue Brad Hutchins. “Obviously generating more money and more revenue helps our overall athletics department and this will go to all of our teams.
UNM thinks this is the year where fans’ patience will finally pay off with a trip to a bowl game.
“We are in year four of Coach Davie’s rebuild program here and we are expecting a lot,” said Hutchins.
Fans KRQE News 13 spoke with Thursday said they’ve heard the promises before and are questioning if a bump in cost will be worth it.
“If they are getting blown out it’s really kind of depressing to watch,” said Jones. “You try to support them, but I mean if they’re not putting out the effort then it’s kind of like ok.”
The ticket hike comes about a week after UNM announced it will now pay its athletes. The school wants to give athletes an extra $2,700 in spending money something other schools around the country have committed to doing.
Despite the hike, ticket prices for Lobo football are still some of the lowest in the Mountain West Conference.