New Mexico State men’s basketball temporarily relocates to Phoenix

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The Aggie men’s basketball team will practice at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa for at least the next five weeks. (Photo courtesy of the Resort)

After 32 days of no practice and blocked proposals, the New Mexico State men’s basketball team finalized their plan to flee state borders and settle in Phoenix as their new home to start the 2020-2021 basketball season.

During a press conference via Zoom today, NM State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced the program would relocate to the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa indefinitely, with the hope of being able to returning to the Land of Enchantment with the governor’s permission to play still very much alive.

For now though, the Aggies will occupy Phoenix for at least five weeks, but plans to make extend that stint if necessary are in the works. 

NM State will continue with its current testing protocols, including getting tested three times a week — something that will go into effect nationally this week. A basketball court and weight room are also being arranged in a ballroom at the resort to ensure the Aggies can practice fully. 

While practice elements are fully worked out, the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa will only serve as a place for NM State to practice. Determining a site to host what would technically be considered home games, as well as filling out a non-conference schedule — something Moccia said he does not plan being a full-slate — are items that remain unfinished business.

The Aggies said they intend to play a game the first week of the season, but when, where, or who will be against has not been announced.  

Potential locations being scouted for games to occur are different arenas in Arizona and Las Vegas. The team still plans on playing their four rivalry games against UNM and UTEP. 

The Aggies departed for their month-plus stay at the resort earlier today and are set to arrive later tonight. 

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