Aug. 10, 2005
Albuquerque, N.M. - The 20-year-old Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium will have a new look in 2006. A construction project is underway that will expand the east side of the facility to allow the long jump, triple jump, pole vault, shot put and discus all to be contested within the stadium. The expansion is the first phase of the athlete and fan-friendly stadium renovations that also include plans to resurface the track oval next summer.
Originally a track-only facility when it was constructed in 1985, the infield of Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium was modified in 1996 to accomodate the Lobo men's and women's soccer field. The addition of the soccer field squeezed the shot put rings and jumping runways into the south end of the oval. In order to alleviate the congestion in the area, current head coach Matt Henry and his staff eventually moved the shot put, discus and hammer rings outside of the stadium adjacent to the UNM practice fields. The hammer throw cage will still remain in its current location next to the practice fields.
The east side expansion will also include the addition of bleachers and eventually a brick wall to enclose the stadium. The project is expected to be completed this fall.
"This project is going to be a real positive for both our athletes and fans at our future home meets," Henry said. "It's going to bring our throwers back where they belong inside the stadium and in the spotlight where everybody can see them. We're also going to have a lot more room to accomodate more athletes in the field events, which, once we get the track resurfaced, will help us bring some top teams to compete in Albuquerque."