UNM/APS Graduations Stuck at Tingley Coliseum for the Second Year in a Row

The University of New Mexico announced that its graduation, scheduled for May 15, will take place at Albuquerque's 53-year-old Tingley Coliseum for the second year in a row. They will join seniors from Albuquerque Public Schools, who will also use the same location throughout next week for the second straight year. This news has to be, at the very least, a little disappointing for this year's spring graduates, whose special day will perhaps be marred by the unfortunate choice of venue.

Unfortunately for Albuquerque's graduates, UNM's University Arena, commonly used by the University and by the city's public high schools high schools for graduation ceremonies, is still in the middle of a $60 million renovation project. While the need for an alternate location is clear, why is Tingley Coliseum that choice? There has to be a reason that the arena's two main tenants, the New Mexico Scorpions and the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, have both left for the inconveniently located Santa Ana Star Center, which is literally in the middle of nowhere. Surely there exists a better location in Albuquerque—the University's football stadium, perhaps, or nearby Isotopes Park. UNM's on-campus Johnson Gym could have been appropriate as well, depending on capacity. It might be just as old as Tingley, but it at least would have had an old-timey, nostalgic charm.

There isn't anything explicitly wrong with Tingley—it suits the purpose of the events, though the last time I was there, for a basketball game, I hated both the facility and the production. Albuquerque's graduating students deserve a little bit more than a 60-year-old rodeo arena.