A $1 million donation from businessman Stan Fulton will help New Mexico State University fund installation of a new, synthetic turf at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The new turf is expected to improve player development, help with player recruitment and increase community accessibility to the stadium.
“Stan Fulton continues to be one of the university’s greatest supporters,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “From faculty chairs to academic buildings to university athletics, his support continues to help in moving the university forward.”
NMSU head football coach Doug Martin said the new, synthetic turf will help the team train year-round and boost recruiting efforts.
“There are three areas in which I feel the field turf will really impact our football program,” Martin said. “The first is on player development. The turf will give us a surface that we can train on year-round and especially during the off-season, where we don’t have to worry about tearing up the grass inside the stadium.
“The second is recruiting. When we bring recruits on-campus we will have a great facility to show them that they can walk onto and check out. Most of the high school recruits already play on this type of surface.
“Finally, the turf will allow us to up our involvement with the community in the form of more camps.”
For years, access to the field at Aggie Memorial stadium has been restricted to prevent damaging the natural grass. This would not be a concern with synthetic turf. With the new turf, additional high school and other football games could be played at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The stadium could also play host to additional band and cheerleading camps and serve as a venue for NMSU Greek, intramural and ROTC activities.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1.37 million. In addition to the $1 million gift from Fulton, NMSU student leaders have pledged $250,000 in student activity fees to the project. University funds will cover the remaining cost.
“I would like to thank Stan Fulton for his generosity, the university and other groups on campus for making this happen. The football program is extremely grateful,” Martin said.
The NMSU Board of Regents voted 5-0 to approve the project March 21. The New Mexico Higher Education Department and the New Mexico Board of Finance must still approve it. If final approval is received, the university will work to have the new turf ready by the first NMSU Aggie home football game Aug. 28.