NMAA Hopes to Avoid State Tourney Ticket Price Hike

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Copyright 2017 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)


Among the possibilities for the New Mexico Activities Association as it looks into budgetary issues could be a slight uptick in price for fans to attend future state tournaments.

"We hope we won't have to," NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said. "State associations across the nation are $10 for adults, and we are at $8. We are trying as hard as we can not to increase in that area."

One of the reasons this is under discussion is that the four state tournaments last fall underperformed collectively - 7.2 percent under what was projected. The NMAA budgeted for $338,500, but net income was just over $314,000.

This is largely, although not exclusively, because of soccer.

The move to the complex on the Santa Ana Pueblo proved to be financially problematic, on multiple fronts.

Gate receipts brought in about $9,000 less than what the NMAA budgeted for, and about $12,500 less than the previous year at the APS Complex. The 2015 tournament brought in nearly $62K in ticket sales; last year, the total was about $49,200.

Specifically, the venue change to the pueblo caused the NMAA headaches. And here's why:

While the NMAA did not pay a facilities fee in 2015 to use the APS Complex, it spent nearly $15,000 to use the sprawling grass complex on the pueblo. That was about $8,500 more than the NMAA thought it would spend.

"The expenses were far greater than we expected," Marquez said.

Marquez said the horrible weather on the second Friday of state was partially responsible, and also "the perception of going out to Bernalillo, versus the tournament being in Albuquerque."

The NMAA signed a two-year deal to have state at Santa Ana, and it will return in 2017. After that, nothing is promised. The renovated Field of Dreams complex in Las Cruces could be an option starting in 2018. And possibly also the new fields going up just west of Nusenda Community Stadium, Marquez said.

Football also was down in terms of gate receipts last fall - "it seemed like it was down across the state," Marquez said - although cross country and (especially) volleyball exceeded overall expectations.

Marquez said another way the NMAA might look to save money is to not fill a couple of staff vacancies; associate director Bill Cleland retired in December, for example.

RULES UPDATE: It looks as though the Goddard Rockets will indeed be the last team in America to win a football game by prematurely swiping at a ball and knocking it from the center's hands to cause a fumble.

The board of directors of the National Federation of High Schools has voted to change that rule. Here is some of the new wording:

"Defensive players will be restricted from contacting the ball prior to the end of the snap or making contact with the snapper's hand(s) or arm(s) until the snapper has released the ball."

The rule change goes into effect starting next season. Goddard beat Artesia last season by knocking the ball from the center's hands - on-field officials said the snap process had begun - and forcing a fumble. Then the Rockets kicked a late field goal to beat the Bulldogs.

ESPINOZA RETIRING: Hope Christian girls soccer coach Ron Espinoza told the Journal he is retiring.

He spent seven seasons as the Huskies head coach, and led Hope to four state championships. Espinoza's record was 131-27-2, and only once did his Huskies not reach a state final.

THIS AND THAT: A pair of West Mesa football players, Jacob Garduño and Domonic Fischer, have signed to play for New Mexico Highlands. ... State champion thrower Jackson Morris of Albuquerque Academy, who has signed with Colorado State, will be competing in the Texas Relays on March 31. ... Cibola senior Victoria Bonilla has signed to play women's soccer at NMHU. ... Eldorado volleyball player Maria Duran has signed to play for Trinidad (Colo.) State.

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March 1, 2017


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