Skip to Content

UTEP joins several other entities in wanting to bring more A-list concerts to the Borderland

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Improvements may be coming soon to the Sun Bowl, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) announced this week.

Proposed changes include structural fixes, an improved electrical system, an all-drivable field cover system needed by top acts, widened access for 18-wheelers needed by major concert tours, and other improvements to support big acts.

“The Sun Bowl is the only place that can host some of these large shows,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “We don’t use it enough, but it needs an uplift to attract major acts that currently just drive through El Paso. Working together with El Paso County, I think we can do more.”

UTEP wants to add eight more A-list events to its annual calendar. The institution said it estimates an annual economic impact of tourism, tourism retention, and retail spending of $2.06 billion over the life of a 30-year bond. Additionally, UTEP estimates more than $82 million in tax revenue generated for El Paso, and projects more than 605 new jobs.

“We are excited to hear about UTEP's plans to renovate the iconic Sun Bowl,” said Andrea Hutchins, CEO of the El Paso Chamber. “Their commitment to enhancing such a significant venue, while diversifying the types of events it hosts, is commendable. We look forward to seeing the Sun Bowl continue to serve as a vibrant hub for our community.”

El Paso County Judge, Ricardo Samaniego, told ABC-7 for UTEP's plans to become a reality, the pubic will have to approve.

"They're going out to the public. And of course, they can't go out to bond without us, you know, because of the legal structure that they have. They have to go through the county bond. And so we have to make a determination. And the only way we'll make a determination is if the public wants it to be something very important for them," said Samaniego.

UTEP's announcement comes as the cities of El Paso and Sunland Park are planning their own amphitheaters. The City of El Paso is also planning to build a multipurpose center.

One Borderland resident who has been in the entertainment industry for years spoke to ABC-7 about the competition new and improved venues will bring to the region.

"Competition is everywhere. And believe it or not, the entertainment business is not what it used to be," said Dr. Barbara Hubbard.

Hubbard -- affectionately known by many as 'Mother Hubbard' -- put Las Cruces on the map many times over by bringing A-list acts like Taylor Swift, KISS, Garth Brooks, and so many more to New Mexico State University for concerts. Now, she's considering what the new competition could mean.

"It's just like everything that's coming up... the market's slow. If we get too over saturated, the same thing will happen to us," said Hubbard.

However, Hubbard said there are ways for the venues to work together.

"Maybe if we're smart, we'll become... sort of a group, and each take a good bite when it comes along," she said.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Kerry Mannix


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content