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Albuquerque Prepares to Celebrate 18th Annual Isleta New Mexico Bowl

ABQ welcomes teams and fans of New Mexico State University and Fresno State with plenty to do this holiday season

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – (Dec. 14, 2023) – The field is set for the 18th annual Isleta New Mexico Bowl, and the city of Albuquerque is ready to welcome teams and their fans. New Mexico State University (NMSU) Aggies and Fresno State Bulldogs have been selected to play in one of the first games of the collegiate bowl season. Kickoff is at 3:45 p.m. MST on Saturday, Dec. 16, at University Stadium. Activities will begin with the pregame Fan Fest, which will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN and broadcast on Bowl Season Radio. This will mark the first appearance in the Isleta New Mexico Bowl for NMSU, and their third bowl game since 1960.

“In the midst of their best season in more than 60 years, we are excited to welcome New Mexico State to the Isleta New Mexico Bowl for the first time,” said New Mexico Bowl Executive Director Jeff Siembieda. “It’s great to also welcome Fresno State back to the Isleta New Mexico Bowl. We look forward to hosting both teams and fans at University Stadium in the beautiful city of Albuquerque.”

Tickets are available online at or or by calling 505-925-LOBO (5626) or the New Mexico Bowl office at 505-925-5999.

For fans planning a trip to Albuquerque for the big game, Visit Albuquerque makes it easy to find affordable deals and hotel packages – even if it’s just a quick weekend getaway. Check out for special rates at hotels and coupons from local retailers, as well as information on things to do, events, dining, attractions and more.

“Albuquerque is honored to again serve as the host of this prestigious bowl game, and we look forward to welcoming teams, fans, and the spirit of competition to our vibrant community,” said Tania Armenta, president and CEO of Visit Albuquerque. “As the city's spirit comes alive with festive cheer in December, the New Mexico Bowl becomes more than a game—it's a celebration of sport, unity and the joyous magic that defines our enchanting city during this special time of year."

With over 310 days of annual sunshine, sweeping blue skies and picturesque views, Albuquerque is home to a variety of outdoor adventures. Bike the more than 400 miles of trails along the Bosque or the legendary Rio Grande or take a ride on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, a 2.7-mile ascension to the top of the Sandia Mountains.

One of the best times to visit Albuquerque is during December, when holiday traditions come alive. Take in a holiday performance, experience the River of Lights at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden—the largest walk-through holiday production in the state—find one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones at local holiday markets and be sure to sample traditional New Mexican cuisine. For a full list of holiday activities, explore Visit Albuquerque’s website.

For extra fun on game day, Visit Albuquerque is offering a variety of experiences for attendees to enjoy. During the pregame Fan Fest, the Visit Albuquerque “Red or Green?” hot air balloon will be inflated and tethered at the north end of the stadium from 1:30 p.m. through kickoff (weather permitting). The balloon will bring additional vibrancy and colorful energy to the game and celebrates two treasured aspects of the city – chile and ballooning. Attendees can stop by our mobile Visitor information Table to pick up Visit Albuquerque thunderstick noisemakers for cheering on their team as well as information on all there is to do in the city. Entertainment, such as cornhole and cultural performances from the National Institute of Flamenco, will also be taking place.

Visit Albuquerque will have its larger-than-life Albuquerque Frame set up inside stadium at the northeast end for attendees to take a commemorative photo. Props representing both the NMSU Aggies and Fresno State Bulldogs will be available, and the Frame will be set up for the entirety of the game. 

About Visit Albuquerque

Visit Albuquerque is an accredited destination marketing organization (DMO), and a private, not-for-profit organization [501(c)(6)]. The mission of Visit Albuquerque is to stimulate economic growth by marketing Albuquerque as a convention, sports and visitor destination. For more information, go to