Red Panda, favorite NBA halftime superstar, to perform

  Friday, November 22, 2019
  Athletics, Community, Announcements

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RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – UTRGV Athletics has announced that Vaquero Village, a new pregame fan experience at UTRGV basketball games, will go live Dec. 3, right before the men’s basketball game against Sam Houston State. 

In addition, the halftime show will feature NBA halftime performer Red Panda and her bowl-flipping act atop a seven-foot-tall unicycle. And the first 200 UTRGV students in attendance will receive free tacos, courtesy of Head Coach Lew Hill and the men’s basketball team.

Vaquero Village is an outdoor patio area in front of the Fieldhouse on the Edinburg Campus, specially designed as a community space in which to socialize.

It features four sections:

  • One for UTRGV students, with picnic and patio tables.
  • A children’s space, with picnic tables and a custom inflatable.
  • An area for professionals, with lounge furniture and cocktail tables.
  • And a section for special events and/or corporate partners, with lounge furniture and cocktail tables.

There also will be a bar, run by Sodexo, licensed to serve patrons of legal age with proper identification.

Starting at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3, fans will be able to access Vaquero Village, located in the Fieldhouse courtyard.

There also will be a ribbon cutting at that time to celebrate completion of renovations to the Fieldhouse. Renovations, in addition to Vaquero Village, include:

  • New men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, visiting team and officials’ locker rooms and team rooms.
  • New hallways leading to the locker room areas.
  • A new athletic training room.
  • New media room.
  • New equipment room.
  • And a redesigned Sam Williams Court.
  • There also are new baskets, scoreboards, scorer and media tables with LED boards, and new entry doors.


During halftime Dec. 3, special guest Red Panda – whose name is Rong Niu – will perform.

Balancing metal bowls on her head while balancing on a unicycle – all while on heels – Red Panda has become an NBA sensation during halftime shows. She has been performing for more than 33 years in more than 30 countries, and holds two Guinness World Records.

She made her NBA debut on 1993, and by the 1994-95 season had appeared at more than 40 NBA games. At the age of 42, she remains an NBA icon, performing annually with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Golden State Warriors, and at college basketball games.


Vaquero Village and doors to the UTRGV Fieldhouse will open 90 minutes prior to game time for all basketball home games starting Dec. 3. All fans with tickets can access Vaquero Village.

Current UTRGV students get free general admission with a valid UTRGV student ID. 

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at Fans purchasing their tickets online prior to game day can save up to $2 per ticket.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.