Sun Bowl

By: Nancy Hamilton

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: June 23, 2016

The Sun Bowl stadium was completed in 1963 on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso. The 30,000-seat facility was built with $1.5 million in bond funds approved by El Paso County voters. When a later election failed to authorize more bond funds, the University of Texas System Board of Regents authorized the addition of 22,000 seats using Permanent University Fund bond proceeds. That addition, completed in 1982, and other improvements brought the university's investment in the stadium to $7.8 million by 1988. The Sun Bowl, home to the UTEP Miners football team, is under a ninety-nine-year lease from the county to the university at annual rental of one dollar. The university is required to release the stadium for the annual bowl game and to make it available from time to time for high school and other civic events. Since 1935 El Paso had hosted the Sun Bowl, one of the oldest bowl games in the nation. In the early years the game was played on January 1, the same day as the Sun Carnival parade. The game was moved to Kidd Field at the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy (now UTEP) in 1937. Since 1969 CBS has televised the game annually. The game date in recent years has fallen in late December. The game and related events are sponsored by the Sun Bowl Association. The name of the game was changed in June 1989 to the John Hancock Bowl, effective for five years, in recognition of its corporate sponsor for the previous three years, John Hancock Financial Services of Boston.

Francis L. Fugate, Frontier College: Texas Western at El Paso: The First Fifty Years (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1964). Nancy Hamilton, UTEP: A Pictorial History of the University of Texas at El Paso (Norfolk, Virginia: Donning Company and Texas Western Press, 1988). William J. Hooten, Fifty-Two Years a Newsman (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1974).

  • Architecture
  • Other Structures
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Sports (Football)
  • Venues

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Nancy Hamilton, “Sun Bowl,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

June 23, 2016