We found out last week that UTEP wants to make major upgrades and renovations to the Sun Bowl Stadium. Also, they want taxpayers to pick up some of the $99 Million cost.

Veronica Gonzalez
Veronica Gonzalez

UTEP President Heather Wilson filled in some of the details on Friday.  Wilson said that most upgrades are meant to encourage “A List” concerts to book the Sun Bowl for their venue. UTEP’s definition of “A List” means events that are expected to bring in more than 25,000 fans. I guess, by that definition, most Miner home football games are NOT “A List” events.

At first it sounded like this was something the school and the county had already agreed on. However, over the Memorial Day weekend, several County Commissioners have expressed skepticism over putting the Sun Bowl on the ballot as a quality-of-life measure.

According to Daniel Perez writing for El Paso Matters County Judge Samaniego and Commissioners Coronado, Leon, Holguin and Stout have expressed reservations. As Commissioner Carlos Leon put it, “We need to stick to the basics and provide our residents with the improvements they’ve asked us for…and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars”.

Other on the court have said they need to find out where the El Paso County taxpayers are on footing the bill for an overhaul of the Sun Bowl. Leon said in his statement that the county needs to be focused on critical infrastructure, roads, water and wastewater services. Yeah, but…we could get TAYLOR SWIFT! Maybe. Probably not, though.

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I’m not naming my source here, but one UTEP insider says that the commissioners may still holding a grudge against the school’s loss of a government grant for the UTEP Aerospace Center. And, there are reports that some of the county leaders are unhappy that President Heather Wilson dealt with the debacle by replacing the head of the Aerospace Center, Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri.

The grant from the National Science Foundation would have, according to Wilson, brought millions of dollars to the local economy.

Heather Wilson says the upgrades to the Sun Bowl would bring BILLIONS of dollars to El Paso’s economy.

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