ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Each March, Lobo fans like to refer to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev., as “Pit West.”
The annual takeover of enemy territory during the Mountain West Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments may be tougher to come by this year for New Mexico basketball fans.
UNM has already sold out its allotment of 600 lower bowl, all-session tournament tickets and doesn’t think more will be on the way as had been the case in past seasons. That is at least 1,000 fewer lower bowl tickets than UNM had last year, meaning more Lobo fans will have to hit up the ticket offices of opposing schools.
With two more teams in the league this season, MWC schools were given a smaller allotment of tickets to sell, according to UNM Lobo Club executive director Lee De Leon.
Each school was given an allotment of 600 all-session, lower bowl tickets. These don’t include general admission upper bowl tickets, which UNM will be selling though its ticket offices. De Leon said in years past UNM was able to acquire tickets from other school’s to accommodate the high demand from Lobo fans. But this year’s smaller allotments has lead to school’s “holding on to their tickets.”
UNM had more than 1,500 ticket requests and sold its batch of 600 on Thursday to Lobo Club members based on a loyalty points program.
“We used our loyalty points program because we wanted to factor in people’s holistic support of University of New Mexico athletics over the years,” De Leon said. “Not just the Lobo Club, but are they season-ticket holders? Are they alumnus? Are they lettermen? Have they volunteered for us? These are some of the things we factored into the equation because we knew that our supply wouldn’t match the demand.”
De Leon said that left 315 Lobo Club members who requested tickets out of luck, which was before any of the tickets were put on sale to the general public.
The loyalty point cutoff for Lobo Club members who got tickets was 713, De Leon said.
Last year, thanks largely to acquiring unsold tickets from other schools, UNM accounted for an estimated 3,200 all-session tickets. That figure does not include any of the thousands of single-game tickets purchased.
Lobo fans can purchase upper bowl tickets through the UNM ticket office and buy tickets through the ticket offices of opposing schools.
Questions about the ticket disbursement can be directed to the Lobo Club at 925-2582 or email@example.com.