The 2020 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl will not be played this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sun Bowl Association announced on Tuesday.
The game, which was set to be the 87th edition of the contest, has never before been canceled. The Sun Bowl Association said the decision to cancel was “…not an easy one but one that needed to be made.”
The game was set to feature teams from the ACC and Pac-12 squaring off at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020.
“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.”
The 2020-21 college football bowl schedule is now down to 35 games overall, including the College Football Playoff National Championship. Eight other bowl games had already been canceled: Bahamas Bowl, Celebration Bowl (FCS), Fenway Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, RedBox Bowl, SDCCU Holiday Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl, and New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
The Las Vegas Bowl is tentative and a decision on the status of the contest should be announced soon.
The College Football Bowl Schedule is currently set to kickoff on Saturday, Dec. 19 with the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The game will feature two teams from either the American, Conference USA, MAC or Mountain West.
On Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, the two College Football Playoff semifinal games will take place. Hosts this season are the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif., and the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La. The semifinal games will kickoff at 5:00pm ET and 8:45pm ET, respectively.
The College Football National Championship concludes the college football season on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 at 8:00pm ET. The two playoff semifinal winners will meet at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Below are statements on the cancellation of the 2020 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BERNIE OLIVAS
“While it is a very sad decision to make, it was not a hard 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.”
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.”
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.”
“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.”