EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On the 75th anniversary of the area code that identifies El Paso, UTEP Athletics is introducing a “915” promotional campaign that will encompass all 17 of its sport programs during the 2022-23 season.

The mission of the “915” campaign is to embrace and engage the greater El Paso community while generating interest and excitement for the Sun City’s longest-running and most iconic team, the Miners.  The official website of the campaign is www.UTEPMiners.com/915 and the hashtag is #RiseUp915.

The first goal of the “915” Campaign is to sell out the Sun Bowl for the Miner football team’s season opener against North Texas on Aug. 27.  To aid in this effort, GECU, the official credit union of UTEP Athletics, has graciously offered to purchase 5,000 tickets to the game.  GECU is also the official game sponsor for the Miners’ matchup versus the Mean Green.

“GECU’s purchase of 5,000 tickets to the North Texas game is an absolute game changer, and a testament to what a tremendous partner they have been for UTEP and UTEP Athletics,” Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.  “We can’t thank them enough for their generosity, and for taking the first step towards helping us achieve something truly special on Aug. 27.”

“GECU and UTEP have a strong and longstanding common goal to support the El Paso community. We’re thrilled to join UTEP Athletics’ 915 Campaign to help fill the Sun Bowl with thousands of cheering Miners fans at the season opening game,” Crystal Long, GECU President and CEO said.

A special $9.15 ticket has been created for the matchup with North Texas.  Fans can take advantage of the deal by visiting www.UTEPMiners.com/Tickets from now until 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1.  Beginning on Thursday, June 2, the $9.15 price will be available by scanning a QR code at participating GECU and Jack in the Box locations.  For more information, visit www.UTEPMiners.com/915

UTEP hasn’t sold out a football game in the Sun Bowl since Sept. 6, 2008, when 53,415 fans packed the venue for a matchup versus Texas.  The Sun Bowl’s current capacity is 45,971 following 2020 stadium renovations.

“We believe the time is right,” Senter said.  “We have a football program that is on the rise, with 14 starters returning from a seven-win team that played in a bowl game.  We’re opening the season with a conference game at home for the first time in 30 years.  It would be so impactful for this community and for our football team to fill up the stadium on Aug. 27.”

“I’ve heard all about the glory days of UTEP Football in the ‘60s, the ‘80s and the early 2000s, when the Sun Bowl was packed,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said.  “We’ve seen how loud the place can get, even when there’s 20,000 in attendance.  We had 30,000 for a game last season [against UTSA] and the atmosphere was electric, but we haven’t gotten to 40,000.  I hope we can get there against North Texas, because I think our players deserve it.”

UTEP Athletics is also partnering with The Great Khalid Foundation to help sell out the Sun Bowl.  The Foundation will be purchasing tickets and providing t-shirts to band students from around the Sun City so they can attend the game and sit with the UTEP marching band on Aug. 27. 

“Our intention is to bridge the gap between young band students and the collegiate experience,” said Linda Wolfe, Executive Director of The Great Khalid Foundation, “bringing them to a game, exposing them to the campus, and creating an opportunity for them to see a future in music is going to make this a life-changing night for the students.” 

The UTEP band will also put on a “915”-themed halftime show alongside high school band members from across El Paso on Aug. 27, including performing some of Khalid’s iconic hits.

UTEP Athletics invites other local businesses to help sell out the Sun Bowl by purchasing group tickets at discounted prices for the Aug. 27 game by visiting www.UTEPMiners.com/915.

Each UTEP squad will have its own “915 Night,” beginning with football versus North Texas on Aug. 27.  Volleyball’s “915 Night” will come on Sept. 1 versus New Mexico, and soccer’s “915 Night,” fittingly enough, falls on Sept. 15 (9/15) versus FIU.

Other components of the “915” Campaign include:

  • The release of a new set of logos cobranding UTEP and the 915.  These logos will be displayed on apparel available at the UTEP Bookstore and other official outlets in the coming year.  The logos will also be displayed on official team gear throughout the 2022-23 season.  The football team will have a “915” logo on their helmets for the North Texas game.
  • The UTEP Coaches Caravan will make several stops around the city over the course of the summer.  The first stop is The Outlet Shoppes at El Paso on June 18 from 12-2 pm.  The caravan will feature appearances by UTEP coaches, administrators and student-athletes.  A full schedule will be announced soon.
  • A complimentary and collectible “915” poster series, featuring student-athletes from numerous UTEP sports photographed at various spots around the city, will be made available at the Coaches Caravan locations.  
  • UTEP’s food partner, Sodexo, will introduce new “915”-themed menu items at UTEP football home games this fall.  Available in the concourse are an El Paso Gyro (gyro meat, tomato, red onions, Tsatziki sauce with chiles toreados on the side), Sun City Burger (half pound beef patty, chipotle mayo, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato, topped with grilled onions and chiles toreados), and the 915 Nachos Supreme (tortilla chips topped with nacho cheese, shredded beef or chicken with pico de gallo, pinto beans, lettuce and tomatoes, topped with chiles toreados).  The Party Patio and GECU Terrace will feature Minero Dorinachos (Doritos chips topped with nacho cheese, shredded beef, pico de gallo, pinto beans, lettuce, tomatoes and Mexican cream).  Available in the GECU Terrace will be the 91Fries (curly fries topped with nacho cheese, green onions, tomato, green chile, bacon bites and sour cream).
  • Through a new Student Rewards program, UTEP students will earn points for attending various athletics events.  The more points that they accumulate, the better the prizes that they will be eligible to win.