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May 28—The University of New Mexico football team will open the 2024 season by hosting Montana State on Aug. 24, which is week zero that season, UNM announced on Friday.

The Lobos added the home game to the 2024 schedule since UNM is scheduled to play at Hawai’i in 2024, allowing for UNM to schedule a 13th game and also play a game a week earlier than other teams.

UNM is paying Montana State $360,000 to play the game, according to a contract that also states that both teams acknowledge that they entered the agreement in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the events contemplated by this agreement were to be held in the current environment, it is likely that governmental authority would prohibit the events from occurring or make it impractical for the parties to perform their obligations. However, the parties enter this contract in good faith belief that current governmental restrictions will no longer be in effect at the time of performance,” the contract states.

The Lobos relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada to compete in the 2020 season because of the coronavirus restrictions in Albuquerque, and finished 2-5.

UNM’s 2024 game against Montana State is the third scheduled game for the 2024 season. The Lobos are scheduled to play at Auburn on Sept. 14 and UNM also travels to New Mexico State. UNM has two more games to schedule in the 2024 season.

Montana State is a member of the Big Sky Conference. The game is the second Big Sky matchup scheduled in the upcoming seasons. UNM hosts Idaho State to start the 2025 season.

The Lobos and the Montana State Bobcats have never played against each other.