UPDATE #1, FEB. 1: New Mexico State University leaders are asking fans to comply with the mask mandate if they want to attend the remainder of the basketball game this season.
“There is a potential that we could have no fans," said Jon Webster, Covid-19 project manager. "We don’t want to do that.”
According to data shared with KVIA, food and alcohol sales at six home games last semester generated more than $35,000 in combined revenue.
“Revenue is the last thing on our mind," Webster said. "What’s on our mind forefront is the safety of everyone in our county.”
Students on Tuesday had mixed feelings, but said they would still attend the games.
“I am a little bit sad just because I personally, eat a lot of food," said Nate Nevarez, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering. "I love food.”
“It's idiotic," said Austin Tellez, a junior majoring in animal science. "We have the vaccines. What gives?"
"It's upsetting, but those are the rules," said Ryker Bilvado, a junior majoring in business. "We’re here to comply with any of the rules that the school sets out.”
ORIGINAL STORY, JAN. 31: LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu has announced the suspension of food and drink sales during sporting events. He warned there could be more stringent restrictions ahead.
Arvizu cites fans' inconsistent compliance with the state's indoor mask mandate as the reason for the suspension.
"Unfortunately, we are seeing less and less compliance with our state's indoor mask mandate during our home games, and fan behavior at Saturday's game was cause for grave concern for us and among our public health experts," Arvizu said.
The suspension will remain in place until the state's mask mandate is lifted.
Arizu said that event staff and law enforcement will strictly enforce mask-wearing throughout the venue. Arvizu says fans who are unwilling to comply with the mask mandate will be asked to leave.
Arvizu said if mask-wearing continues to be an issue over the next two games, he'll have no choice but to restrict fan access to indoor athletics events.