The Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. ET, has been canceled due to the ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sun Bowl Association made the announcement Tuesday, noting in a statement that the decision was not an easy one but one that needed to be made.
"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 ACC-Pac-12 matchup is the ninth 2020 postseason game to be canceled, joining the Pinstripe Bowl, Redbox Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Quick Lane Bowl, Celebration Bowl, Fenway Bowl and Bahamas Bowl. The Montgomery Bowl will be played as a substitute of the Fenway Bowl for this season only, while a decision regarding the Las Vegas Bowl will be announced at a later date. With the Sun Bowl's announcement, three ACC tie-ins and four Pac-12 tie-ins have been nixed.
The Sun Bowl was one of the longest-running bowl games in college football. Since 1935, it has been played 86 consecutive times.
The game's cancellation doesn't come as massive shock with COVID-19 cases soaring in El Paso. The city has been hit hard by the coronavirus with more than 900 deaths and 900 current hospitalizations.