About the Sun Bowl
The Sun Bowl Association is a volunteer based non-profit 501 © 3 organization. The Sun Bowl Association, with the help of over 700 volunteers, promotes and serves the El Paso community and features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl football game. Other Sun Bowl core events include the Academy Sports + Outdoors Sun Bowl International Soccer Tournament, the Peter Piper Pizza Sun Bowl Punt, Pass and Kick, Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic, the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade, the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Basketball Invitational, and the Fan Fiesta. For more information on the Sun Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities, click on the links below. Follow the Sun Bowl Association on Facebook (Hyundai Sun Bowl), Twitter (
HyundaiSunBowl), Instagram (HyundaiSunBowl) and SnapChat (Sun Bowl 2015).
The Sun Bowl Association was founded in 1935 with a threefold purpose: 1) to present a football attraction of national importance, 2) to promote El Paso and the Southwest and 3) to generate tourist income for the area. Economic impacts study by Dr. David Schauer of the Economics Department at the University of Texas at El Paso revealed that the direct economic impact to this area from the bowl game is 12 to 15 million dollars. This figure does not include the value of the national media exposure resulting from the game.
On October 18, 1934, at a meeting of the El Paso Kiwanis Club, Dr. Brice Schuller suggested that the club sponsor a football game on New Year’s Day matching an El Paso High School All-Star Team against a worthy opponent. The motion was passed unanimously. It was decided to ask for public suggestions as to the name of this annual game, and the name “Sun Bowl” was submitted by Dr. C. M. Hendricks, who became the first Sun Bowl Association President.
The Sun Bowl football game was first played on January 1, 1935, as a fund-raising event for a local service club, to benefit underprivileged children and to finance improvement to the El Paso High School Stadium. It has grown into El Paso’s number one national attraction. The following year a weeklong schedule of events was added to the Sun Bowl festivities, and four other local service clubs (Rotary, Lions, Optimist and Active 20-30) joined the Kiwanis in coordinating the entire “Sun Carnival” calendar.
In 1936, New Mexico State and Hardin-Simmons Universities were invited to play, and the Sun Bowl has been a college game ever since.