Since 1978, Aggie Memorial Stadium has been the home of New Mexico State football. Officially dedicated on Sept. 16, 1978, the Aggies christened the stadium with a 35-32 victory over rival Texas-El Paso. The top seven crowds in the history of Aggie Memorial Stadium, and eight of the top nine, have come in games against UTEP.
Aggie Memorial's capacity is 30,343, and was constructed at a cost of $4 million. The construction was funded by the New Mexico State Legislature as part of a capital outlay package. Presently valued at considerably more than the actual construction price, the stadium is one of the finest sports facilities in the Southwest.
The stadium was designed by NMSU alumnus Craig Protz of Bohening-Protz Associates of Las Cruces and consultants Caudill-Rowlett-Scott of Houston.
The construction, completed in 18 months, was done by Ray Ward and Son Construction of El Paso, Texas.
The stadium features many unique qualities beginning with the 'berm' type of structure. The berm approach locates the field slightly below ground level with seats both above and below the natural ground level. Seats are arranged in a fan-pleasing curved pattern with an almost complete bowl shape by the seats below the concourse level. Non-smoking, chair-back, and handicapped seating areas are also provided within the seating scheme.
The playing field is a Hybrid Bermuda turf, and includes a quick-draining system beneath the playing surface, which was the first Hybrid Bermuda turf of its kind. The 2007 Super Bowl was played on the exact same Hybrid Bermuda turf.
Lighting for the stadium is provided by an eight-pole system, which affords excellent visibility for night games. The energy-saving sodium vapor lights sit atop four poles, which rise 110 feet above the berm and 175 feet above the playing field. In 2005, the lighting system received a major upgrade going from a four-pole system to an eight-pole system, costing approximately $300,000. The new lighting was an excellent upgrade to showcase Aggie football games on local and national television.
Auxiliary buildings, included in the stadium complex, offer the latest in modern locker room, pressbox, Aggie Athletics offices, football meeting rooms and strength and conditioning facilities. To the north is the Football Field House remodeling began shortly after spring football in 2006. The $2.2 million remodeling project will include new lockers and locker room area, a new coaches locker room, larger team meeting rooms, a video room, new rubber flooring and a larger equipment room. The athletic training room will also receive a face lift, with a doctor's exam room, an X-Ray room, new equipment and better offices.
In addition the Aggies have new meeting rooms on the south end of the fieldhouse and a new walkway connecting the east and west sides of the stadium will be built as well.
On the west stands sits a functionally designed pressbox, which has seating for nearly 100 working media and event staff. In 1992, a state-of-the-art 13,500-foot weight room was added to the stadium complex.
Aggie Memorial Stadium is located just west of Interstate 25 on the eastern edge of the main campus‹directly south of NMSU's Pan American Center. The stadium is a short walk from campus dormitories and parking is available for more than 5,000 vehicles.
Upon completion in 1978, the new stadium retained the name Aggie Memorial.
The Board of Regents voted to retain the name to honor NMSU students who had served in the armed forces, including veterans of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
The original Memorial Stadium was dedicated on Sept. 16, 1950. Located just east of Hadley Hall, it was built on the site of Quesenberry Field, the Ags home since 1933. The name of the playing surface remained Quesenberry Field.
Memorial Stadium seated 6,800 and was a memorial to New Mexico A&M students who had served in the armed forces during World War I, World War II, and the Spanish-American War. Mr. and Mrs. Henry C. Gilbert donated a $50 war bond in memory of their son, Henry Jr., who died in service. The Gilbert's donation was the first of many during a 10-year fund drive that resulted in the new stadium's construction.
Memorial Stadium was home to Aggie football for 28 seasons, until 1978, when the new Aggie Memorial Stadium opened. Capacity at the original Memorial Stadium grew from an original 6,800 to 12,155, after a 1962 expansion added four sections.
The only remnant of the original Memorial Stadium that remains today is Memorial Tower, which served as a pressbox for media on game days. The structure also housed the Aggie Alumni Offices in its lower levels. Today, Memorial Tower serves as a restaurant and campus landmark.
From 1933 to 1949, A&M football was played at Quesenberry Field, at the same location where Memorial Stadium would later be built (east of Hadley Hall).
Prior to 1933, A&M squads competed at a field located between University Avenue, College Street and Espina Street. Originally known as 'College Field,' it was officialy named 'Miller Field' in 1908, in honor of retired coach John O. Miller (1899, 1901-07).
Source: New Mexico State Sports Information Office