Thursday, September 28, 2023
  Athletics, Announcements

By Jonah Goldberg

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – SEPT. 28, 2023 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Department of Intercollegiate Athletics scored a touchdown today with a new partnership designating the McAllen International Airport as the official airport of the UTRGV Vaqueros.

The big announcement was made during a press conference held at the McAllen International Airport Thursday morning.

“We’re all very excited about this new partnership, especially for our student-athletes who will benefit most of all,” said Joaquin "J.J." Zamora, McAllen City Commissioner District 2. “McAllen International Airport will be the official airport of UTRGV Athletics and will provide giveaways and experiences for UTRGV students.”

The first giveaway is a trip for two to a UTRGV football road game during the inaugural 2025 season that includes airfare from McAllen International Airport, hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and tickets to the game. Fans can register to win at

A second giveaway is slated for UTRGV Madness on Oct. 27 at the UTRGV Fieldhouse, during which one lucky student will win a trip for two to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Basketball Tournaments in Las Vegas during spring break. The winner will receive airfare from McAllen International Airport, hotel accommodations, ground transportation to and from the airport, and all-session passes throughout the WAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

UTRGV Madness begins at 9 p.m. and is preceded by a special pre-event party in the fieldhouse parking lot at 7:30 p.m.

“This will be a new era for McAllen aviation,” McAllen International Airport Director of Aviation Elizabeth Suarez said. “Partnering with a leader in higher education like UTRGV will allow us to provide more opportunities to students and expand our reach further into Texas and beyond.”

As part of the partnership, the McAllen International Airport will add new signage in strategic areas of the airport recognizing it as the official airport of the UTRGV Vaqueros. According to the McAllen International Airport website, more than 2.4 million people pass through the terminal annually.

“Our partnership with the McAllen International Airport is transformational for us going forward. When prospective student-athletes come to visit or our teams return from competition, they’ll know they’re home the moment they step off the jet bridge,” UTRGV Vice President and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque said.

In addition, the countless visiting teams and fans that travel through the airport will quickly realize the support the Vaqueros have from the City of McAllen and the entire Rio Grande Valley. McAllen International Airport’s commitment is game-changing and will create many opportunities for the Vaqueros and our university community for years to come.”


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.