Update: El Paso and the Sun Bowl stadium will not host the Oct. 12 match between Mexico and Guyana, according to Jorge Vasquez, Executive Director of Special Events for UTEP.
"They prefer to play on a natural grass and we respect that," Vasquez said. The Sun Bowl has artificial turf on its field. "We are really happy that we were in that group. I think it truly sends the right message that the university has positioned the Sun Bowl stadium to bring such top quality acts. And just the fact that we are being considered, I think that we need that in a city that is growing and a university trying to achieve tier 1."
Vasquez said that the university is always looking to bring in acts, including at the Sun Bowl, but that there aren't many musical acts doing stadium tours.
"If you look at Billboard or other national tours there are not many artists out there with stadium shows. I think those acts with a stadium show will go to primary markets. They'll go to New York, L.A. or Chicago. You can see it as a trend. It could be because of the economy but I don't think you will see artists taking a stadium tour to other cities because of how much money they put into the production and they don't want to take the risk," Vasquez said.
Vasquez said there were about eight cities in the running to host the match, including Houston, San Antonio, and Phoenix. A city has not been chosen.
Previous Sept. 27 story: Mexico's national soccer team will be playing Guyana in a World Cup qualifying match Oct. 12 and UTEP's Sun Bowl is being considered as a possible venue to host it.
Jorge Vasquez, Executive Director of Special Events for UTEP, said the university was approached about two weeks ago about the match.
"We were asked if the date (Oct. 12) was available. Houston, San Antonio, and Phoenix are some of the cities that are in the running," Vasquez said. " I think there are about eight in the running. I wouldn't get my hopes up."
Vasquez said that checking to see if a venue is available is just part of what a promoter does. He added that there are different promoters that try to book the games but ultimately it is CONCACAF and Fifa that approve the venue sites.
The Mexico men's soccer team stunned the world by winning the Olympic gold medal in London this summer.
"Just the fact that the Sun Bowl is being considered is a huge, great honor," Vasquez said. "It's a step in the right direction because we are competing with bigger venues, bigger cities. But the fact that they know who we are means that we have done a pretty good job promoting our stadium and city. If it doesn't happen, at least we had a fair shot. And that in itself is a step in right direction."
He said a decision is expected soon because Oct. 12 is just around the corner.
The El Paso area has hosted big soccer games in the past. UTEP's Sun Bowl hosted a match between former USA and Mexico players in Spring 2010 and in 2008, Juarez hosted the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament that the U.S. won. The U.S. women's soccer team went on to win the gold in Beijing in 2008.