Located 5,335 feet above sea level, the Great Friends of University of New Mexico Track Stadium has been the home of the Lobo track and field program since 1985. The stadium is a multifunction, 5,000-seat facility that was renovated in the summer of 1996 to include a soccer field. The track is constructed of an all-weather, encapsulated surface called Versaturf.
Since taking control of the track and field program in 2007, Joe Franklin has continued the tradition of excellence in UNM track and field, with multiple All-Americans for the men and women. Each year, the Lobos welcome some of the region’s top teams for the annual Don Kirby Invitational. New Mexico has hosted the 2003 and 2009 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships and the 1996 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships. The venue has also been the longtime home of the elite Great Southwest Track & Field Classic, one of the nation’s premier postseason high school invitationals.
The 400-meter track is composed of eight racing lanes and includes a steeplechase water-jump. To bolster performances, sprints can be run in either direction to mitigate the effects of unfavorable weather. The two jumps runways, two pole vault runways and a high jump apron are also of Versaturf construction. They are located behind the goals of the soccer field, allowing competitors to compete in an east or west direction. The improvements to the facility also include the installation of lights, giving UNM the opportunity to host night meets. Renovations in 2005 helped to expand the field event areas and add seating. A new surface to the track was installed prior to the 2007 season, pushing UNM Track Stadium to one of the finest venues in the West.
The opportunity to train and compete year-round in Albuquerque, gives Lobo athletes an extra advantage. With its mile-high elevation, more than 300 days of sunshine a year and legendary reputation, Albuquerque is a favorite training location for some of the world’s top track and field athletes. The world class training environment and facilities at UNM provide an opportunity for exceptional running and field event performances. The close proximity to the Tow Diehm facility for strength and conditioning, athletic training and rehab facilities makes UNM’s track complex one of the most self inclusive in the nation.
Located just east of University Stadium, the Great Friends of University of New Mexico Track Stadium can be easily accessed by exiting off I-25, just south of the Big-I, at Avenida Cesar Chavez. Head east on Avenida Cesar Chavez. After crossing University Boulevard, the Great Friends of University of New Mexico Track Stadium is located on the right, just east of University Stadium.