Don’t blame football players for the Miami Hurricanes and Washington State Cougars if they’re a bit distracted by their surroundings at the 2015 Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX.
Players, coaches and fans at the game most assuredly will be struck by the scenery at the 52-year-old Sun Bowl Stadium, which is tucked into the Franklin Mountains. One of the mountains features a 104-foot-tall whitewashed “M” (for the University of Texas at El Paso Miners).
“The beautiful and majestic Franklin Mountains offer a dramatic focal point to the city,” organizers of the Hyundai Sun Bowl say, “and are one of the most visible and beloved of our many treasures.”
Sun Bowl Stadium opened in 1963.
‘Unique’ and ‘Cool’ Venue
Indeed, Sun Bowl Stadium itself is a treasure. That’s why we placed it in the top spot on our list of the 10 College Bowl Venues With the Best Natural Scenery.
“For the stadium nerds out there, the Sun Bowl is one of the most unique (and cool-looking) places to play football in the country,” according to Chat Sports.
If you want to judge the stadium for yourself, watch the Hyundai Sun Bowl on Dec. 26. Just don’t get too distracted by the scenery. Aside from hosting the annual Sun Bowl, the stadium is the home field of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) football team.
Sun Bowl Stadium seats 50,000 people.
The Top 10
To come up with our list, we pored over photos of all the venues hosting bowl games for the 2015 college football season. Unfortunately, we couldn’t squeeze in the time to visit each bowl venue, although we wouldn’t have minded jetting off to Hawaii (Hawaii Bowl) or the Bahamas (Popeyes Bahamas Bowl).
We ruled out enclosed or domed stadiums, focusing instead on outdoor venues with picturesque natural scenery like mountains and trees. (As you’ll see on our list, we’re suckers for mountains.) We judged each stadium based on whether fans actually could enjoy scenic views from their seats; that factor kept the bowl venues in Hawaii and the Bahamas off our list.
For your viewing pleasure, here are the 10 College Bowl Venues With the Best Natural Scenery.
(To check out our ranking of the 16 College Football Stadiums With the Best Natural Scenery, visit www.lawnstarter.com/blog/landscaping/best-college-football-stadiums.)
1. Sun Bowl Stadium
El Paso, TX
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Sun Bowl Stadium photos: Flickr/Visit El Paso, El Paso 411,
Stadium Journey and University of Texas at El Paso
2. University Stadium
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Photo: Stadium Journey
3. Arizona Stadium
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Photo: University of Arizona
4. Albertsons Stadium
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Photo: Boise State University
5. Sam Boyd Stadium
Las Vegas, NV
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
Photo: Solutions 4Earth
6. Orlando Citrus Bowl
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl and Russell Athletic Bowl
Photo: News 13
7. Levi’s Stadium
Santa Clara, CA
Foster Farms Bowl
8. Independence Stadium
Camping World Independence Bowl
Photo: City of Shreveport
9. Legion Field
10. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium