UTEP Football Fan Experiences, Tailgating Revamped for 2019 Season
Last Updated on August 27, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Originally published August 27, 2019
By Jesse Martinez
As The University of Texas at El Paso's football team prepares to open its season at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, at Sun Bowl Stadium against Houston Baptist University, fans and students are eager to cheer them on and participate in tailgating as well as other game day festivities.
But before they fill up their coolers and fire up their grills, fans and students need to be aware of a few changes.
New this season are updates to tailgating policies driven by fan feedback, the introduction of a designated student tailgating area, and a quick and easy way for students to gain entrance to Sun Bowl Stadium. UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced that the new policies were designed to produce a better overall experience for fans.
“We received extremely valuable feedback from an online survey distributed to season ticket holders and students, and our fan council also provided tremendous input throughout the evaluation process,” Senter said. “We found that some of the existing policies could be considered unreasonable, and could be modified without sacrificing the overall integrity of the game day experience and the safety of all patrons, which will always remain our top priority. We’re dedicated to providing an accessible, safe and fun experience for all Miner fans in 2019!”
Some of those game day improvements include allowing patrons to take tablets and cameras into the stadium, and those who are participating in tailgate festivities will no longer be required to enter the stadium at the end of the first quarter.
Inner campus tailgating will now begin at noon on game day, with start times for the Miners’ first four home games being moved from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Outer campus tailgating will begin at 8 a.m. on game day. Centennial Plaza will be available for picnic-style, soft tailgating at noon. Tents, grills, tables, chairs or organized sports and activities are not allowed in Centennial Plaza. Wheelchair and ADA seating and parking have been adjusted temporarily for the 2019 season due to ongoing stadium renovations. For the full list of UTEP’s 2019 football game day fan and tailgating policies, visit tailgating.utep.edu.
UTEP students also will be treated to an exclusive tailgating area on game days. The UTEP Football Student Tailgate Zone will be open from noon to 6 p.m. atop the Sun Bowl Parking Garage. Students can bring their own tailgating equipment or enjoy the free festivities that are part of the student tailgating experience.
“We want to invite all students to come out and tailgate with us. It is going to be so much fun!” said Jessica Martinez, president of the UTEP Student Government Association. “We will be providing free food, a DJ, and lots of giveaways throughout the tailgate. Afterwards, we will all march into the game and continue the party at the student section as we cheer on our team.”
Permits are available for students who wish to park their vehicles atop the garage, pitch and secure a tent, and grill on their own propane grill. Permits are also available for students who wish to park in a non-reserved parking space and attend the student tailgate as space allows. Students will also receive a wristband that acts as a fast pass into Sun Bowl Stadium. For more information and to request a permit, visit utep.edu/studenttailgate.
In addition to the new tailgating experiences comes a quick and easy way for students to enter the stadium and cheer on their Miners. Eligible students can scan their Miner Gold card at the gate without having to get their tickets in advance. Student guest tickets can still be purchased at the UTEP Ticket Center. Senter said it was a primary goal to make it easier for students to get to the games.
“The new ticketing process, coupled with a dedicated tailgating area, will go a long way toward providing the best possible game day experience for all our students this fall,” Senter said. “We’re excited about the Orange Revival and invite all our students to come out and support an improved football team in 2019.”
UTEP alumni and members of the community can show their Miner pride by participating in the Pickaxe Tailgate Parties hosted by UTEP Athletics and the UTEP Alumni Association. With their tailgate ticket, fans can enjoy a catered meal, soft drinks, two beers for individuals ages 21 or older, entertainment and a pep rally. The Pickaxe Tailgate Parties include a Mini-Miners play area for youth and a cash bar for adults. For tickets and more information, visit pickaxetailgate.utep.edu.
Show your support by wearing orange and attending the first game at 6 p.m. Saturday. For ticketing information, visit utepminers.com.