From the Govt Director | life-style

If man is still alive in the year 2120, he will still talk about the year 2020.

While it is likely a year most people would like to forget, this year is still talked about for a long time.

There are so many good and bad stories being told about the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to say a few words about one particular event – the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.

For some it is “just” a soccer game, but for many people in our community this 87 year old annual tradition is so much more.

43 bowl games were scheduled for 2020, 11 of which were canceled due to the pandemic at this point. All shells exist for one reason – to create tourism in their cities at a time when most people do not travel. We can go a little further with the Sun Bowl.

The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl is there for three reasons. On the one hand, an event of good quality should be created for our city. If you’ve never been to one before, this is more than just a game. It also brings some prominent universities to the city that most El Pasoans have never seen such as USC, State of Florida, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, UCLA, to name a few.

Second, to give El Paso a positive national presence. CBS broadcasts the Sun Bowl game for 57 years in a row, painting our city for four hours with a beautiful description of what a wonderful place El Paso is. After all, to have a positive economic impact on our city. Studies have shown that the Sun Bowl El Paso ranks between $ 14 million and $ 20 million annually. In 2010, when Notre Dame played Miami, a study found that it grossed our economy nearly $ 25 million.

While the 2020 edition of the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl has been canceled, we are already preparing for the 2021 game and we’re getting better than ever.

Yes, it was a tough decision to cancel the game this year, but there is no doubt that it was the right decision based on what our city is going through with the virus.

We know how non-compliance affects our hotels, restaurants and shops, but we had to put the safety of our citizens, schools and visitors first and while we were deeply pained by the cancellation, we felt we had no choice to have.

Although Kellogg’s, our title sponsor, doesn’t have a bowl game, they generously donated a million meals to the local food bank to feed the hungry and also pledged to pay the people who would have played the Sun Bowl game year. What a tremendous gesture for our city from a Michigan-based company.

A big thank you to Kellogg’s and Tony the Tiger.

In the meantime, our associates Ellen Hughes, Pam Carter, Jay Pritchard, Joe Daubach and Eddie Morelos continue to work hard to bring all of our events back to normal in 2021. They are the toughest workgroup in the keys business and beyond.

We will be back.

Until then, you’ll have a good holiday season, but please do it responsibly. Be sure to stay healthy and follow the protocols established by our health officials.

With best regards,

Bernie Olivas

Executive Director of the Sun Bowl Association

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