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What’s the Status of the Cohen Stadium Canopy?

City of El Paso
City of El Paso

Summer in El Paso means two things: outdoor events, and (almost)unbearable heat.

One of the venues that will play host to several summer concerts and festivals is Cohen Stadium. Back in January strong winds ripped apart the shade canopy leaving a considerable part of the stadium exposed to the hot El Paso sun.

With average daily temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s from late May through August, shade is naturally at a premium. So with a couple of major functions taking place at Cohen in the coming days and weeks, what’s the status of the canopy?

I reached out to El Paso Live, which manages the stadium and puts on events there as well as at other city venues, for an answer.

“The status of the canopy is in the hands of the city, but they have it listed as an emergency repair, so we continue to keep our fingers crossed,” replied Ryan Lympus, Assistant General Manager of El Paso Live, via email. “That said, I don’t believe it will be ready for our June / July events.”

Those events include Music Under the Stars, one of the city’s signature weekly outdoor gatherings, and the El Paso Ice Cream Festival in July.

“Fortunately, Music Under the Stars is a little later [in the day] and the shade reaches the field / stage area around 6:30 p.m.,” wrote Lympus. “For Ice Cream Festival, we are ordering A LOT (I mean A LOT) of tents to provide shade for as many patrons as possible for the first couple of hours of the event while the sun is still shining in the stadium.”

As for when the fate of the shade canopy will be determined, there’s no telling and no timeline. El Paso Live general manager Bryan Crowe told ABC7 in January that fixing it could cost up to $1 million, and that the city was “exploring warranty options” and “property insurance scenarios,” but as of this writing no conclusion has been reached.

So for the foreseeable future if you plan to attend an event at Cohen, I suggest you invest in sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.

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