EL PASO, Texas – After there were no visitors in El Paso for the annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl game, the Sun Bowl Association and the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl decided to help the local hotel and lodging association by donating $10,000.
Executive Director Bernie Olivas and SBA Board President Natalia Flores met with the El Paso Hotel and Lodging Association on Tuesday, January 19 at the El Paso Radisson Hotel to present the check, which will be distributed from the Hotel and Lodging Association to those who were laid off due to the Pandemic.
“One of the prime objectives of the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl is to bring tourism to the city during a time when many people are not traveling. The Sun Bowl Association understands that the cancelation of the Tony the Tiger prevented the city from realizing the economic impact the game usually brings to our city,” Olivas said. “With many individuals and companies hurting during the pandemic, the Sun Bowl Association would like to donate $10,000 to the El Paso Hotel and Lodging Association to help those people in the hospitality industry that lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The annual (Tony the Tiger) Sun Bowl game generally has about $14 million to $17 million in direct economic impact to the community in previous years and has reached amounts of up to $25 million, as it did in 2010 when Notre Dame took on Miami. Many, if not all, hotels tend to fill to capacity due to the extra visitors coming to El Paso for the game.
Kellogg’s has already made a large donation to ensure that Sun Bowl gameday workers that were scheduled to work the 2020 game would receive a paycheck this holiday season and also plans on donating one million meals to El Paso food banks.
The Sun Bowl Association anticipates that, with the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine, the situation will improve and El Pasoans, as well as all college football fans will be able to enjoy the annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl on Dec. 31, 2021 in Sun Bowl Stadium.
“With the sincerest gratitude, it is an honor to accept this donation for our Hospitality community. Throughout the years, the Sun Bowl Association has demonstrated a deep commitment to our wonderful city and its residents. For many years, your dedication and support has repeatedly played a key role in our success in selling out our hotels during the last days in December. Our industry is thankful for all you have done.
There is no way to fully express our gratitude for your donation to our community, especially during these tough times. We at the El Paso Hotel and Lodging Association are continually inspired by the dedication and generosity of the Sun Bowl Association. It is our hope that this generous donation will help the hotels and their associates that have been negatively impacted due to loss of occupancy. We look forward to a continuing partnership with you.”
“I am honored that the Sun Bowl Association and the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl is donating $10,000 to the El Paso Hospitality industry to supplement lost income as a result of the pandemic.”
The El Paso Hotel & Lodging Association is a non-profit organization comprised of General Managers and Owners of hotels, motels, suppliers, service companies, publishers and other businesses actively involved in our area’s hospitality community.
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 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl football game.
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.
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.
Sun Bowl Association
4150 Pinnacle Street
El Paso, Texas 79902