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UNM rejects offer to move A&M game to San Antonio

07/16/2008

Associated Press

New Mexico rejected a $1.8 million offer to move a Sept. 6 home game against Texas A&M to San Antonio.

Athletic director Paul Krebs said UNM declined the third-party offer because administrators didn't want to deprive New Mexico fans of seeing one of the nation's storied programs at University Stadium.

"We have to develop our fan base," Krebs said. "Moving the game to San Antonio, I think, would sell out our fans, would be a decision made purely for economic reasons. I think it sends the wrong message to our fans and to our football program."

An unidentified third party approached New Mexico at the end of the 2006 season, just after the school had signed a home-and-home contract with the Aggies, and offered the Lobos $1.5 million to move the game.

When UNM declined, the offer eventually increased to $1.8 million by June 2007. New Mexico again turned it down.

Coach Rocky Long said he believes New Mexico in years past would have "jumped all over that kind of proposal because you're looking for a quick fix." He supports the decision, saying it will help build loyalty.

"I don't see it as a gamble," Long said. "I see it as an investment to further our program to the point that someday it'll be a nationally recognized program with an established, solid fan base."

The Lobos are scheduled to travel to Texas A&M on Sept. 5, 2009.

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