ENMU hoping for fall 2015 stadium opening

Editor’s note: This is No. 5 news story in 2013 as determined by PNT staff.

This illustration shows what the new Eastern New Mexico University football stadium would look like at its location on campus.

This illustration shows what the new Eastern New Mexico University football stadium would look like at its location on campus.

By Alisa Boswell

CMI staff writer

aboswell@pntonline.com

If everything goes as planned, Eastern New Mexico University will be playing home football games on campus as soon of 2015.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of its student body as ENMU students voted for tuition increase in October to pay for half of a new $8 million multi-purpose facility that would also be used by the school’s soccer and track teams as well as Portales High School.

Eighty-three percent of the university’s 1,275 full-time students voted in favor of the tuition bump, which means an increase of $40 per semester for full-tike students.

Part-time students will see a $3.33 per credit hour increase.

Greyhound Stadium, located eight miles north of Portales, has been the football team’s home for the last 45 seasons.

“I’m excited. I think it’s something we can all be proud of because it can change our university forever,” ENMU student government President Justin Aguilar said the day of the vote.

Approximately 57 percent of ENMU’s 5,800 record enrollment were eligible to vote.

ENMU will pay for $1 million of the project while the Portales school district will pay for another $1 million if their bond is passed by school district voters in February.

As of December, ENMU President Steven Gamble said the rest of the $2 million the university hopes to raise through a fundraising campaign.

“We will be starting a campaign in January to raise the rest of the money,” Gamble said. “We’re hoping to raise more than the $2 million because $8 million is the minimum we need for the stadium.”

He said the university is also taking contributions from ENMU alumni and friends.

Gamble said the university hopes to have the new stadium complete by the fall of 2015.

Senior Renan Fernandes of Brazil said he voted against the new stadium because ENMU has better athletic programs that it could spend money on.

“I believe the football team is not the best,” Fernandes said. “It’s not a good investment and I’ve asked (Gamble) for more funding for the other programs.”

Gamble said what will be done with the old stadium when the new one is constructed is unknown but if a purpose is not found for it, it will likely be demolished.

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