The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl is the second oldest bowl game in the business with the first Sun Bowl game being played at El Paso High School’s Jones Stadium, with the El Paso All-Stars defeating Ranger 25-21. 2003 Legend of the Sun Bowl Ken Heineman accounted for every El Paso All-Star point. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/Sun Bowl Association
The annual Sun Bowl game, now sponsored by Tony the Tiger by way of Kellogg’s, was officially cancelled Tuesday afternoon.
This is the first time in the 87-year history of the Sun Bowl football game that it has had to cancelled. Officials share that the decision, made by the Sun Bowl Association Board of Directors, was not an easy one but one that needed to be made.
“The Sun Bowl has historically been a way to expose our amazing City of El Paso to the rest of our country. A great way to share our culture, our community, our people, and our neighbors to the South,” said Football Committee Chairman and long-time Board Member John Folmer.
“However, now is no time to expose players and their families to the Pandemic and being that I’ve been involved with Sun Bowl for almost 50 years, and it breaks my heart to do this. But it is the right thing to do.”
STATEMENT FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BERNIE OLIVAS
“While it is a very sad decision to make, we believe it is the right decision based on the current situation in El Paso and the nation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. The safety and well-being of everybody involved must be our priority, and our board unanimously approved the cancelation of the 2020 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl. We look forward to bringing back El Paso’s long-standing tradition game 2021 and all the festivities associated with the game. I would like to thank CBS, Kellogg’s, the ACC and PAC-12 conferences, and all our sponsors and vendors for their understanding in this matter.”
STATEMENT FROM GAME SPONSOR KELLOGG’S FROSTED FLAKES
“Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Tony the Tiger recognize the impact the game’s cancelation has on our entire local community and all the local game day workers who traditionally make the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl run. From the parking attendants and maintenance to the concessions team and ushers, Tony the Tiger will ensure Sun Bowl workers receive their usual paycheck this holiday season. Additionally, Frosted Flakes will donate 1 million meals to El Paso food banks, which continues our game’s historic commitment to the families and residents of this vibrant community.”
STATEMENT FROM BOARD PRESIDENT NATALIA FLORES
“Due to what is happening nationwide in the bowl industry, across the country and in El Paso, we had to make this difficult decision. The well-being of the people involved and that participate in the Sun Bowl game are of upmost importance to us. We are looking forward to 2021 and are exploring ideas on how to help the community impacted by the loss of the game.”
STATEMENT FROM PAC-12
“We share our student-athletes and fans disappointment regarding today’s news of the Sun Bowl’s cancelation due to the pandemic. We are looking forward to witnessing a Pac-12 team compete in the 2021 edition of the Sun Bowl and to continuing the great excitement and tradition of this marquee event next year.”
TICKET INFORMATION (from Ticket Manager Ellen Hughes)
We thank our loyal ticket purchasers, partners and sponsors for their patience as we navigated through the difficult decisions brought on by the challenging circumstances facing us in 2020.
The official announcement comes only a day after a social media posts hinted that the game would be scrubbed, according to unnamed sources within the Sun Bowl organization.
The Sun Bowl game, first played in 1935, is the second-oldest bowl game in the nation, behind the Rose Bowl.
In mid-November, Sun Bowl Association officials canceled the West Star Bank Don Haskins Invitational Basketball. At that time, SBA Executive Director Bernie Olivas said:
“It is unfortunate that a 59-year-old tradition has to be canceled due to the issues the Covid-19 virus has presented,”said Olivas. “I would like to assure everybody that this is a one-year cancellation, and we will be back in 2021 with a strong and stellar field. I would like to thank WestStar and UTEP for their understanding in the decision to cancel the tournament in 2020.”
Back in October, the annual Sun Bowl Golf Tournament was cancelled as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
“While we are disappointed that we will not host the tournament in 2020, we are looking forward to showcasing El Paso and providing unapparelled hospitality for the best amateur golfers in 2021,” said Gary Hanson, Tournament Chairman.
However, the annual Sun Bowl parade avoided a similar fate, as the association and long-time TV partner KTSM (NBC 9) collaborating so the parade could be held virtually.