EL PASO — We are less than a month away from the biggest event of the year in El Paso. The University of Southern California will play Georgia Tech in this year's Hyundai Sun Bowl and like every year, it's expected to be a shot in the arm for the local economy.
“I think what is important… let's take USC for example, this is their first bowl game in three years. Obviously they had higher expectations at the beginning of the year, but they are excited to be going to a bowl game, so I think that excitement will translate into visitors to our city,” said Sun Bowl President Gary Hanson.
Local businesses, like Lucchese Boots are ready for the Sun Bowl crowds.
"During the Sun Bowl, we get a lot of traffic from out of town. It's a great impact for El Paso. Not just the Lucchese Boots but also for restaurants and hotels around the city," said Manager Carlos Armendariz.
Armendariz said fans from other cities take advantage of the unique things El Paso has to offer, and that in turn stimulates the local economy.
"El Paso is the boot capital of the world and it's something they probably can't get at home," said Armendariz.
Georgia Tech will be back for a second year in a row. That could be a bad thing. Fewer visitors may return for a second straight year.
"Being that it is Georgia Tech again it might not be as much as it was last year but I'm sure we're gonna have new fans and everything. I know they bought a lot of boots when they went to the stores so hopefully they'll do the same," said Armendariz.
Tony Perez has been going to the Sun Bowl for the last seven years.
"I believe it's a great El Paso tradition and it’s just a great thing to do towards the end of the year," said Perez. "If it’s going to benefit the city in any way, I enjoy being a part of it."
It will be the first time going to the Sun Bowl for Stephanie Snodgrass and Drew Chenoweth. They said it's nice to see football fans come in town and hope more locals participate.
"They're going to be eating at the restaurants; they're going to be staying at the hotels… It's a big boost to tourism. It's going to be a big help to our economy. We're so fortunate to have this bowl game tradition," said Snodgrass.
The Sun Bowl will be played at noon on December 31.