Amid cheers, applause and a newly cut ribbon, New Mexico State University celebrated the official opening of Club 27, the university’s new skybox at Aggie Memorial Stadium during a ceremony on Oct. 24. The event coincided with the NMSU Homecoming football game.
“We’re excited, not just for this new facility, but to also work with everyone who made it happen,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “We are pleased to renew a partnership with our friends at Citizens Bank of Las Cruces. We’re also grateful for the continuing support of Stan Fulton. Both were instrumental in making this a reality.”
Club 27 is funded exclusively through private donations, including $1 million from Stan Fulton, owner of the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, and an additional contribution from Citizens Bank of Las Cruces.
“We are extremely pleased to be a contributor to the Club 27 project and New Mexico State University,” said George Ruth, president of Citizens Bank of Las Cruces. “Our partnership and friendship with the university over the years has benefited both institutions and the Las Cruces community.”
Carruthers credited Rick Baugh, general manager of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, for the original vision to have a place at Aggie Memorial Stadium dedicated to hosting donors and guests.
“Skyboxes are important for Division 1 athletic programs,” Carruthers said. “This space will be critical for raising dollars from donors who give not only to athletics, but also to academics. We know our guests will enjoy the experience of being with their fellow Aggies and cheering on our team. We’re also proud when we can use Aggie-owned businesses for a project like this. The furniture, civil engineering firm, signage and other pieces of the facility were provided by NMSU grads.”
Club 27 is approximately 2,000 square feet, including an exterior terrace, and was constructed on the east side of Aggie Memorial Stadium. The facility provides space for the university to entertain guests as well as visiting university presidents.
Last week, NMSU Regents approved naming the skybox Club 27. It had previously been known as just the presidential skybox. The new name acknowledges NMSU President Garrey Carruthers who served as the 27th governor of New Mexico and the 27th president of NMSU. Carruthers is also the only NMSU Aggie to hold those positions.
Since Carruthers became president in 2013, nearly all improvements to NMSU athletic facilities have been secured through private funding, including installation of new turf for Aggie Memorial Stadium, renovations to Presley Askew Field, a renovated weight training facility for all NMSU athletes, and locker room improvements for both the football team as well as the swimming and diving team.
Author: Justin Bannister – NMSU