FEATURED: The top leadership of the athletics program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will be the featured guests at the Public Affairs Luncheon, set for Tuesday, February 13, 2024, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce has announced. Tickets for tables of eight and for individual tickets are available for purchase through 5 p.m. on Monday, February 12, 2024, by calling 956/383-4974 to make reservations.
Graphic By NAYELI ZENTENO
UTRGV president, athletic director, and football head coach to present economic impact of its athletics program on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance
The top leadership of the athletics program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will be the featured guests at the Public Affairs Luncheon, set for Tuesday, February 13, 2024, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce has announced.
The high-profile gathering will bring together Dr. Guy Bailey, President, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Chasse Conque, Athletics Director, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Travis Bush, Head Football Coach, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros, for the event titled “UTRGV Kickoff to Prosperity”.
“Get ready to be inspired by Dr. Bailey, Chasse Conque, and Coach Bush as they address the pivotal role of community support,” said Ronnie Larralde, Executive Director, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. “Explore the potential economic and engagement impact that the expansion of athletic programs and campus life initiatives will bring to the City of Edinburg and our region.”
The Public Affairs Luncheon series is an initiative of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce introduced in 2006, and since then has covered popular topics with speakers that cover important community and legislative issues. The vision is to inform, involve and educate chamber investors and civic leaders. The event also allows business professionals to meet, network and create opportunities for the companies they represent.
The Public Affairs Luncheon also serves a fundraising tool for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.
As such, tickets are required to be purchased to attend, with prices set accordingly:
- $500 for a table of eight is the price for members of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce;
- $700 for a table of eight is the price for non-members of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce;
- $50 for individual tickets is the price for members of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; and
- $70 for individual tickets is the price for non-members of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.
Tickets for tables of eight and for individual tickets are available for purchase through 5 p.m. on Monday, February 12, 2024, by calling 956/383-4974 to make reservations.
The much-anticipated update will take place about two months after the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation announced plans for the possible purchase of H-E-B Park, which would be used as the home for the UTRGV Vaqueros football team, which is set to begin its first season in two years.
On Wednesday, December 20, 2023, the city and Edinburg EDC announced that their leadership was collaborating to UTRGV officials to facilitate Vaqueros football by actively engaging in cooperative initiatives.
This collaboration aims to bring the collegiate football experience closer to the community and further elevate the Edinburg’s status as the home of UTRGV.
“We are looking forward to working with the City of Edinburg on the possibility of bringing UTRGV football to H-E-B Park,” UTRGV President Dr. Guy Bailey said. “If acquired, this stadium immediately provides our football program with an outstanding venue that could be ready for our 2025 debut.”
H-E-B Park is a soccer-specific stadium in Edinburg. The stadium has two stands with orange seats covered with a roof and a capacity of 9,735.
According to its website, H-E-B Park is the premiere outdoor sports and entertainment destination in the Rio Grande Valley, and serves as a central community hub of outdoor space for live music events, sporting events, festivals and more.
It’s features include:
- 20 acres of festival grounds
- A 360-degree sports bar
- Two (2) soccer practice fields equipped for 7 by 7 and 5 by 5 soccer
- Full catering services
- Food and beverage plazas
- 43? x 24? LED Scoreboard
- In-house PA Sound System
- Thirty (30) Luxury Suites
- Eight (8) Patio Suites
- President’s Club
Next to the stadium is the H-E-B Park Amphitheater, an outdoor venue which has a capacity of 2,500 for concerts, stage shows, or special events.
“The announcement is a great opportunity for the region. This stadium will generate excitement among students, unite RGV fans, and serve as an economic boost for the RGV,” said Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen. “I appreciate the leadership and collaborative efforts of (Edinburg) Mayor (Ramiro) Garza (Jr.) and Dr. Bailey in seizing this opportunity and working together to make it happen.”
“This news is a testament to the collaborative efforts between the City of Edinburg and UTRGV, showcasing a shared vision for the growth and prosperity of both the academic institution and the local community,” added Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg. “The integration of a college football program into our region’s landscape not only adds an exciting new dimension but also serves as a unifying force that brings residents together to support the Vaqueros. I look forward to the positive impact this collaboration will have on the region, the university, and the overall spirit of collegiate sports in the Rio Grande Valley.”
This project is poised to elevate the university, providing a transformative addition that promotes and enriches the entire UTRGV academic and athletic journey, state, university and city leaders predict.
“I want to reassure our residents that we are diligently working to bring this exciting venture to Edinburg,” Garza said. “UTRGV football is a source of pride for our community, and I’m pleased to share that our efforts come with no additional cost to our residents. We are working hard to support the university, creating an opportunity for all of the Rio Grande Valley to celebrate the spirit of Vaquero football without any added financial burden.”
UTRGV Arts, Athletics utilizing new ticket system for events
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Arts and Athletics departments are now utilizing a new ticket system, called Showpass.
In a trial run since September 2023, the new ticketing system eventually could become the primary vendor to sell tickets for UTRGV events in the future, pending a trial of about a year.
“We’re still in the process of testing it out,” said Juan Muñoz, Program Coordinator, UTRGV School of Music, College of Fine Arts. “This is the fourth month we’ve been using it, so maybe in a year or two we can look at how we can expand this system to the rest of the university.”
Showpass, established in Canada, is a ticketing platform and search engine for live, virtual, and streamed events. Its global distribution system uses Facebook, Google and other web publishers to help advertise events and sell tickets. So far at UTRGV, Showpass has been used to sell tickets for music and theatre events, and for basketball and volleyball games.
Smaller-scale events are perfect for testing out the new system so kinks can be worked out, and eventually could lead to selling tickets for much larger events.
Showpass also enables the ticket seller to be able to customize events with graphics and designs.
“It’s been great because we can now utilize our campus resources like graphic designers to help illustrate designs. So, visually, it’s more appealing than just text,” Muñoz said.
Another benefit to Showpass is that all events potentially can be housed within the same platform, he said, which would mean colleges and departments could be unified in a ticket-selling site.
“I think we’re stronger together,” he said. “We would just need to type in ‘UTRGV’ and all the events would pop up in the same place.”
Showpass currently is being used for the upcoming music season, spearheading this month with Alegría, UTRGV’s annual folklórico dance performance.
Tickets are available here.
Nayeli Zenteno, Roxanne Lerma, and Amanda Taylor contributed to this article. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com)