SBD/June 11, 2014/Events and Attractions

Oklahoma, Texas Reach Deal To Keep Red River Showdown At Cotton Bowl Through '25

The Red River Showdown football game between Texas and Oklahoma is "staying at the Cotton Bowl for at least another decade," according to Tom Benning of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Dallas civic leader Pete Schenkel, who led negotiations for the city and the State Fair of Texas, said that the game "will remain" at the Cotton Bowl through '25. The previous deal had gone through '20, "contingent on the city making since-completed upgrades to the stadium." Schenkel said that the schools' BOTs "must still approve the deal, but both athletic departments have signed off on the agreement." Each school "receives direct payments of $500,000 for playing in Dallas, along with a split of the ticket sales." OU and UT have played at Fair Park since 1929. The schools’ contract is "with the State Fair, which controls Fair Park during its annual celebration." The city "runs Fair Park the rest of the year, making it chiefly responsible for any boosts to the Cotton Bowl and its surrounding environs." The city spent $57M "on improvements that were completed" in '08. The upgrades "amounted to a major overhaul, with the addition of 16,000 more seats and the installation of new scoreboard." That was "enough to convince the Red River Showdown to stay put." When the universities re-negotiated in '12, they "demanded that the city make some more improvements to the 92,200-seat stadium." The city responded again by spending $25M "to polish up the amenities." Schenkel said that the latest contract extension with OU and UT "doesn’t include any changes to the deal or extra incentives" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/11).
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