Major Track and Field Events Strengthen Albuquerque’s Status as Premier Indoor Track Destination

2023 indoor track season demonstrates the impact of sports tourism on the local economy

Photos (credit to “Core-Visual”) and b-roll

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – (Jan. 18, 2023) – Albuquerque is poised to host another successful indoor track and field season, further elevating the city’s reputation as the premier destination to host indoor track competitions.

“We are honored to serve as the host city for these prestigious sporting events,” said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Sports Commission. “It is wonderful to see many track and field events returning to Albuquerque, which demonstrates the excellent hospitality, local expertise and state-of-the-art facilities that contribute to the city’s status as a premier destination for track and field events. We are grateful for the strong partnerships that exist with the City of Albuquerque, the Albuquerque Convention Center, the University of New Mexico and others that allow for these events to take place and the positive impact these championships have on our community. We look forward to welcoming these athletes – and their friends and families – to our city and wish them best of luck in competition.”

An estimated 4,500 athletes and 10,000 spectators will attend indoor track and field events hosted in Albuquerque this season, resulting in nearly $4 million in estimated direct spend.

“Albuquerque is a winning sports tourism destination,” said Dave Simon, Director of the City of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Department. “Burqueños already know how to Pack the Pit, now it’s time to Pack the Track!”

Two high-profile and prestigious events on this year’s schedule include the USATF Indoor Championships and the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The 2023 USATF Indoor Championships will take place Feb. 16-18 at the Albuquerque Convention Center and will bring an estimated 350 athletes and 3,000 attendees to the city, resulting in $500,000 in estimated direct spend. It will also be broadcast to a national audience on NBC. The 2023 indoor track season will culminate with the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, occurring March 8-11. This event is estimated to bring in 800 athletes and 2,000 attendees to Albuquerque, with a projection of $1.6 million in estimated direct spend.

This year’s track season also includes numerous University of New Mexico (UNM) competitions, including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational on Jan. 21 with an estimated 600 athletes, 960 attendees and $210,000 in estimated direct spend and the Don Kirby Elite Invitational from Feb. 10-11 with an estimated 1,000 athletes, 1,600 attendees and $470,000 in estimated direct spend. Additionally, the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships will take place Feb. 23-25, bringing an estimated 450 athletes, 675 attendees and $540,000 in estimated direct spend.

“We are excited to kick off what figures to be an exciting and historic indoor track and field season here in Albuquerque,” said UNM Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach Joe Franklin. “The opportunity not only to host the NCAA Championships, but the Mountain West Conference Championships, the USATF Championships, and four of our own indoor meets is something we are greatly looking forward to. The quality of athletes and the level of competition that will unfold over the next two months is elite, and we are proud to bring a product like that to our state, city, and university.”

All 2023 track and field competitions in Albuquerque are taking place on one of the fastest tracks in the world. In 2021, the City of Albuquerque’s Parks & Recreation Department unveiled a brand-new, state-of-the-art indoor track at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Featuring a 200-meter banked oval, the new track features a red and turquoise color scheme that pays homage to the original UNM colors and matches their track team uniforms. The track was manufactured by Mondo, widely considered to be the world’s premier track manufacturer, and their newest track surface – the MondoTrack WS – is the fastest competition surface in the world and is used on the city’s new track.

Since the 2005 season, the partners have secured dozens of track events that have brought in more than $20 million to Albuquerque’s economy.

With the continued success of track and field events, the city can bid on larger sporting events, which results in greater economic benefits for Albuquerque and New Mexico and allows for the city to become increasingly recognized as a world-class sports destination and the premier destination for indoor track and field competitions.

About Visit Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Sports Commission

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 and visitor destination, as well as a premier sports destination through the efforts of the Albuquerque Sports Commission (a division of Visit Albuquerque). For more information, go to