Changes made for late kickoff of UTEP-Tech game

Changes made for late kickoff of UTEP-Tech game

Planning on going to UTEP's home opener against Texas Tech Saturday night at the Sun Bowl?

You might want to get some extra rest and pace yourself!

Kickoff is at 9 p-m -- three hours later than usual -- and the game is not expected to finish until well after midnight.

ABC-7 asked fans about their pre-game plans.

"Tailgate!" said Miner fan Gilbert Velez said.

When asked if he would be having a few more beers than usual he replied, "That's a possibility, yeah, true."

UTEP football fan Jim Bissuett agreed that more fans will be drinking more alcohol with all that extra time.

"Probably so, good for them," he said. "Just be safe."

Saturday's 9 p.m. kickoff for the Utep-Tech game, the latest in school history, means a few changes are in order. On-campus tailgating won't be allowed until 4 p.m., two hours later than usual. But off-campus tailgates can kick off the party at 8 a.m. and that means some fans would have been tailgating for more than 12 hours.

"The El Paso Police Department has a lot of security out and things," Bissuett said. "They'll be directing traffic, so I'm sure it'll be safe."

EPPD Spokesman Chris Mears told ABC-7: "We're going to continue our normal DWI enforcement efforts ... But any time there is a large event in el paso, we adjust our resources accordingly."

The later start is also expected to mean more business than usual for restaurants along Mesa Street, like the popular Rib Hut. Owner Brenda Hayes said they're preparing twice as much food and stocking twice as much alcohol.

"I think all day Saturday we will be busy," Hayes said. "I think we will be real busy. We're looking forward to it and planning on it, so we're all ready for it."

The game is kicking off later because it is being televised nationally. UTEP's gameday manager told ABC-7 they reserve the right to cut off beer sales at the Sun Bowl before the end of the third quarter, if they feel the need to do so. They also can deny entrance to the stadium to anyone who is visibly intoxicated.

Fans can expect more UTEP police presence outside the stadium and more ushers inside the stadium.

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