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Stephanie Garcia Richard, Commissioner of Public Lands

State of New Mexico


June 29, 2021


Angie Poss, SLO Assistant Commissioner of Communications

Tom Thorpe, BernCo Communications Services Administrator

State Land Office and Bernalillo County Ink Deal for Mesa del Sol

Live Nation sublease executed; NM United soccer team sublease coming soon

ALBUQUERQUE NM – The Bernalillo County Commission today voted to approve a new 40-year master lease with the State Land Office for the management of 634 acres of state trust land at Mesa del Sol, including a recreational complex and the Isleta Amphitheatre. The complex will eventually include a sublease with the City of Albuquerque and the New Mexico United soccer team for their practice and championship fields which are under construction adjacent to the Isleta Amphitheatre.

As part of the master plan, the County also approved a new sublease agreement with Live Nation for operation of the Isleta Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre is owned by the County, with Live Nation responsible for maintaining, promoting, and operating the facility for a multitude of live entertainment events.

The State Land Office manages 9 million surface and 13 million mineral acres to benefit New Mexico public schools, hospitals, and universities. Each acre of state trust land has an assigned beneficiary, meaning any revenue raised on that land goes to benefit that institution. The state trust land being leased to the County for the Recreational Complex and Amphitheatre is assigned to the University of New Mexico.

“This is yet another example of the power of strong partnerships between your local and state government,” Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard said. “With successful efforts to get our residents vaccinated, New Mexico is set to safely re-open starting this week, including for large gatherings like soccer games, concerts, and festivals. We are poised to provide, through Live Nation and eventually NM United, the live events that so many of us have missed. The icing on the cake is that your patronage of events at Isleta or the Mesa del Sol complex will have the added value of supporting the County and the University of New Mexico.”

The State Land Office negotiated a payment of 19% of the full revenue received by the County for events at the Amphitheatre and the future NM United recreation complex.

Improvements to the Mesa del Sol complex are a priority at Bernalillo County.  Recent upgrades include a championship soccer field and other additional playing fields for club competition and tournaments.

“Bernalillo County will continue to work with the State of New Mexico to create the best in destination facilities,” says Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca. “Mesa del Sol is something we can all enjoy.”

“As Bernalillo County grows, Mesa del Sol offers entertainment and quality housing in one of the fastest growing areas of the county,” adds Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada.

“The BernCo Commission owes a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the County and State employees who worked so hard to make this master lease a reality,” Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa said. “Today’s vote represents the continuation of our partnership with the State Land Office. Behind the scenes, we have been responsible for bringing live music and fiestas to New Mexicans at Isleta Amphitheatre for decades – and we’ll continue to do that, while also working to finalize the recreation complex sublease with NM United to provide additional recreational opportunities for people in BernCo.”

The approval of the master lease with the County and sublease to Live Nation comes on the heels of the Albuquerque City Council’s approval last week of a master lease with the State Land Office for 130 acres nearby, and a sublease with Netflix for a digital production facility. The University of New Mexico will benefit from roughly $24 million in new revenue over the life of the Netflix sublease.

Under the leadership of Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard, the New Mexico State Land Office has seen back-to-back years of revenue over $1 billion. Over 13 million acres of state trust land are leased for a variety of uses, including ranching and farming, renewable energy, business development, mineral development, and outdoor recreation. The money earned from leasing activity supports 22 beneficiaries – New Mexico public schools, seven universities and colleges, the School for the Deaf, the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, three hospitals, water and land conservation projects, and public building construction and repair.