Sun Bowl (stadium)

The Sun Bowl is an outdoor football stadium in the southwestern United States, on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso. It is home to the UTEP Miners of Conference USA, and the late December college football bowl game, the Sun Bowl. The stadium opened in 1963 and has a current seating capacity of 51,500.

Sun Bowl
UTEP Sun Bowl Stadium Aerial View Sept 6 2009.jpg
Aerial view from the northwest in 2009;
Kidd Field at upper left
Sun Bowl is located in Texas
Sun Bowl
Sun Bowl
Location in Texas
Sun Bowl is located in the United States
Sun Bowl
Sun Bowl
Location in the United States
Location2701 Sun Bowl Drive
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Coordinates31°46′23″N 106°30′29″W / 31.773°N 106.508°W / 31.773; -106.508Coordinates: 31°46′23″N 106°30′29″W / 31.773°N 106.508°W / 31.773; -106.508
OwnerUniversity of Texas at El Paso
OperatorUniversity of Texas at El Paso
Capacity30,000 (1963–1981)
52,000 (1982–2000)
51,500 (2001–present)[1]
SurfaceNatural grass (1963–1973)
AstroTurf (1974–2000)
AstroPlay (2001–2014)
FieldTurf (2015–present)
Broke groundAugust 1, 1961; 60 years ago (1961-08-01)[2]
OpenedSeptember 21, 1963; 58 years ago (1963-09-21)
Renovated2006, 2018
Construction cost$275,000
(approximate, original)
ArchitectGarland & Hilles
Carroll & Daeuble
General contractorPonsford Brothers
UTEP Miners (NCAA) (1963–present)
Sun Bowl (NCAA) (1963–present)
El Paso Patriots (USL PDL) (1989–2001)
Texas vs. Nation Game (NCAA) (2007–2010)
El Paso ISD (selected games)


The stadium, named for the game it hosts, was opened on September 21, 1963 with a Texas Western win over North Texas State. The opening play was a 54–yard touchdown run by Larry Durham of the Miners.

The land on which the stadium sits was originally donated by the university to El Paso County, who built the stadium for the school and the Sun Bowl game. Both had previously used Kidd Field, the school's current track and field venue, which seats 15,000. The city had realized that the game could not expand its audience or the list of teams that it could invite without a bigger stadium, so the Sun Bowl was built in a natural bowl adjacent to the west. It originally sat 30,000, with only the sideline grandstands. The playing field runs nearly north–south (tilted about 10° NW–SE) at an elevation of 3,910 feet (1,190 m) above sea level.


The current press box was added in 1969, and the stadium reached the capacity of 52,000 in 1982 with the addition of the north end zone stands and the expansion of the east stands. (The south end zone is still vacant, with the ground of the bowl covered with the school's logos.)

The school retook control of the land and stadium in 2001, when hundreds of seats were removed as part of a re–configuration of the seating bowl to accommodate soccer, which lowered capacity to its current figure of 51,500.[1]

The school's Athletics Director, Jim Senter, announced on April 13, 2018 plans to renovate the Sun Bowl stadium. The $15 million project would include luxury boxes installed in a new press facility, renovation of the concourses and premium seating added on the west side of the stadium. The renovations are projected to be completed in a 16-month timespan.

Notable eventsEdit

Postseason college footballEdit

Sun BowlEdit

The college football bowl game began in January 1936 and moved to the new stadium in December 1963. All games have been played in El Paso.

All-star gameEdit

On February 2, 2007, the stadium hosted the inaugural Texas vs. The Nation all-star college football game; the Nation defeated Texas 24–20.[3]


The Sun Bowl is also a venue for music and other large public events, having hosted concerts by U2, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and Kenny Chesney.

Date Artist/group Opening act(s) Tour/concert name Attendance Revenue ($) Notes
October 27, 1992 U2 The Sugarcubes
Public Enemy
Zoo TV Tour 35,564 / 39,500 1,066,920
April 26, 1994 Pink Floyd The Division Bell Tour 34,945 / 37,000 1,148,228
August 27, 2001 NSYNC Li'l Johnnie
Deborah Gibson
PopOdyssey 38,313 / 48,987 2,048,331
October 20, 2006 The Rolling Stones Dave Matthews Band A Bigger Bang 38,653 / 38,653 3,106,995
September 19, 2014 One Direction 5 Seconds of Summer Where We Are Tour 44,910 / 44,910 3,632,097
September 6, 2017 Guns N' Roses ZZ Top Not in This Lifetime... Tour 34,801 / 41,534 3,112,504

Other eventsEdit

On February 17, 2016, the stadium hosted festivities and a simulcast of the Mass held by Pope Francis during the pontiff's visit to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, several miles away across the Rio Grande.[4]

Other tenantsEdit

For a short time before moving to Dudley Field, the El Paso Patriots (PDL franchise) made their home at the Sun Bowl. They played their final seasons at Patriot Stadium.


Panoramic view with Kidd Field and the underside of the Sun Bowl stadium

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "UTEP-Marshall Game Sold Out". UTEP Athletics. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  2. ^ "Bean Tags Charge As "Ridiculous"". The Bonham Daily Favorite. September 6, 1962. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  3. ^ Matthew Aguilar. "Team Nation victorious". El Paso Times. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "Pope Francis hosts papal mass 2Nations1Faith event". Retrieved August 24, 2017.

External linksEdit

Events and tenants
Preceded by Home of the Sun Bowl
Succeeded by
Preceded by Home of the UTEP Miners
Succeeded by