Courtesy of NMSU News Center
Writer: Justin Bannister, 575-646-5981, email@example.com
The locker room used by the New Mexico State University football team is about to undergo a massive renovation, thanks to a substantial donation from Las Cruces-based Allen Theatres Inc. The project will provide long-overdue improvements to the facility, a facelift to the amenities, and improved conditions for student athletes.
“Allen Theatres is an important friend, having generously supported New Mexico State University for the past 30 years,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “We’re delighted to have them as a key partner and this particular investment will play an important role in helping us continue to build our football program.”
“It’s important for us, as a company, to support the community we serve,” said Larry Allen, president of Allen Theatres. “We’re fortunate to be in a position to make this contribution to NMSU and we’re excited to see the impact this will have on the university. We believe NMSU’s football program is where many people in Las Cruces, and beyond, are first introduced to the university. We feel this investment will benefit not just the Aggie football team, but all of NMSU.”
The Allen family has been in New Mexico and operated movie houses in the state for more than 100 years. They currently have 16 movie theaters in 11 cities across New Mexico and Colorado. Their three locations in Las Cruces include the Cineport 10, Telshor 12 and Video 4.
“It’s a transformational gift for a key facility in our football program,” said Mario Moccia, NMSU’s director of athletics. “Currently we don’t show recruits our locker room, given the needed renovations, but this will change with this phenomenal gift from Allen Theatres. What was once a facility we bypassed on recruitment visits will become a pride point thanks to their generosity. This investment signals to Aggie fans and prospective student athletes that football is important, and we’re all on board to make it successful.”
The locker room project is the most recent in a series of renovations to Aggie Memorial Stadium. In 2014, the university installed new, synthetic turf on the field. That project was funded by a $1 million gift from Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino owner Stan Fulton, with additional support provided by NMSU student activity fees. The same year, NMSU’s Coca-Cola Weight Training Center underwent a major renovation, thanks to a substantial gift from Mesilla Valley Transportation, as well as other donors. The weight-training facility benefits student athletes in 17 different athletic programs.
Earlier this year, the NMSU Board of Regents approved a new skybox for Aggie Memorial Stadium. The new addition will be constructed on the east side of the stadium and provide a space for the university to entertain guests. The skybox is funded by a separate $1 million donation made by Fulton.