EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – If you build it, they will come; just not in 2019. Due to on-going construction taking place at Sun Bowl Stadium, more than 7,000 seats will not be available to this year’s Sun Bowl game. The game is scheduled for Tuesday, December 31 at 12 p.m. featuring the Florida State Seminoles and the Arizona State Sun Devils.
As a result, it is likely going to cost the Sun Bowl Association thousands of dollars in ticket revenue, especially with this year’s matchup being one of the more anticipated Sun Bowl games in recent history.
“It is what it is. There’s nothing you can do except to make it positive,” said chairman of the Sun Bowl selection committee John Folmer. “I think that’s exactly what we’re doing. We are going to have a full stadium, we are going to be very cautious with the area that we’re doing, because it’s going to look beautiful when it’s finished. We are going to make it look beautiful this year too.”
Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas expects both fan bases to travel well, in addition to a number of El Pasoans intrigued by the matchup.
“We hope to fill all the seats,” said Olivas. “Arizona State is driving distance from El Paso, which is another reason why we like to get a team that’s close. Florida State, last year was the first time in 36 years they did not go to a bowl game. They are back on the bowl schedule and I hope they come on out.”
Renovations to Sun Bowl Stadium were supposed to be complete by the start of the 2019 football season. However, the project hit a snag in March.
UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter told KTSM 9 Sports in March that the project will not be complete until the start of the 2020 football season. According to Senter, trouble finding contractors and subcontractors that will keep UTEP within their original budget of $15 million was the main reason why.
UTEP played the entire season with their stadium under construction, most notably the west portion of the stadium.
Tickets to the 2019 Sun Bowl are going fast. As of Monday, the west portion of the stadium is nearly sold out. Ticket prices range from $12-$154 and can be purchased on ticketmaster.com.