Renovations to Dallas’ Cotton Bowl stadium, financed in part with $30 million of proceeds from city bonds approved by voters in November 2006, brings the capacity of the facility in Fair Park to 92,200. The $57 million project, aided by $30 million from the State Fair of Texas, makes the venerable stadium the ninth-largest athletic facility in the country.
The project included 16,000 new seats in the end zone, upper level decks at both ends of the stadium, 25 new restrooms, new scoreboards, and structural improvements.
A new media center at the north end zone includes larger locker rooms for players and coaches and a conference room.
The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma have agreed to play their traditional rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl through 2015, but the Cotton Bowl game on New Year’s Day will move to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium under construction in nearby Arlington after the 2009 game.
Texas and Oklahoma have played in Dallas since 1929 and in the Cotton Bowl since 1932.
Fair Park officials said the improved facility will allow it to compete for additional college football games during the regular season.
The renovated Cotton Bowl has some 2,000 seats more than will the new Cowboys stadium.
The Cotton Bowl’s renovation is part of a $72 million plan at Fair Park financed by the 2006 bond package.
Dallas acquired the 277-acre Fair Park, located about two miles east of downtown, in 1904 with the proceeds from a $125,000 bond issue. It is operated by the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.