It’s 3:00pm on a sunny Sunday afternoon and El Paso Locomotive fans are already lining up downtown at Southwest University Park.
The El Paso Locomotive game isn’t for another three hours but that doesn’t matter to the dozens of supporters who have posted up outside the stadium.
Tonight’s match is the final one of the regular season and it comes with an added bonus, which explains the excitement that’s already building among the crowd. Last month, the club announced that the first 2,000 fans in the stadium would receive a replica jersey.
“As soon as they made the announcement, I just knew I had to be here early,” shared Nancy, a season ticket holder and the first person in line to receive a jersey.
Nancy arrived at 2:55pm and even though she was the first, she wasn’t the only one who got the early-bird memo. By 4:00pm, the lines outside each entrance stretched around the block, and within another hour the entire stadium was encircled by Locomotive supporters hoping to get their hands on a jersey.
When all was said and done, more than 8,000 fans entered Southwest University Park to cheer on El Paso Locomotive to a 4-0 win against OKC Energy.
The scene was a fitting end to the team’s regular season and a true testament to why El Paso has quickly become a success story in American soccer.
Established in 2018, the club has quickly become one of the leaders across the USL Championship, both on the field and in the stands. Before the pandemic in 2019, El Paso Locomotive’s first season, the team averaged more than 6,500 fans. The club then followed that up with another 6,000+ average attendance for the 2021 season.
And while the team’s on-field success is certainly a big reason why El Paso Locomotive has continued to draw strong numbers, it’s the passion in the community that keeps everyone coming back.
As a vibrant city along the border, El Paso’s supporter culture is steeped in both U.S. soccer and Latin fútbol traditions. On matchdays, you’ll hear just as many songs in Spanish as you do English, and the diversity of its fanbase mirrors that of the broader Borderplex region.
Led by the 8th Notch, the main supporters group for El Paso Locomotive, the noise within Southwest University Park is as loud as it is uniquely El Paso.
When opposing goalkeepers line up for a goal kick, the stadium belts out a collective “Eeeeel Chucoooooo,” an homage to the history of El Paso and its residents.
Altogether, the loyalty among El Paso’s fanbase is the perfect recipe for growth. While the 8th Notch members set the standard in Section 105, the level of passion for the club can be found on full display anywhere you go in the stadium.
From the blue-bearded, vuvuzela-wielding supporter at midfield, to the face-painted season ticket holders seated behind the corner flags, the growth of El Paso’s soccer scene is hard to overlook.