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June 11, 2014

‘Red River Showdown’ to stay in Cotton Bowl through 2025

NORMAN — Oklahoma and Texas have agreed to keep the “Red River Showdown” at the Cotton Bowl through 2025. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the five-year contract extension on Tuesday.

“Generations of Sooners and Longhorns will proudly attest that the ‘Red River Showdown’ is played amidst the most unique atmosphere in all of college football,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement. “Two of football’s greatest programs and their legions of passionate fans are diametrically situated in the historic Cotton Bowl, surrounded by revelry of the State Fair of Texas.”

Each school currently receives an annual payment of $500,000, plus a percentage of the ticket sales at the 92,200-seat Cotton Bowl, which are evenly split between the schools. The annual meeting between the schools has been played in Dallas since 1929..

While there have been discussions about moving the game to a home-and-home series in the past, the biggest threat to the Cotton Bowl venue has been the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The home venue of the Dallas Cowboys lured the Cotton Bowl game away from Dallas when it opened in 2009.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has openly tried to entice both schools to move the game to his stadium in the past.

The city of Dallas has spent nearly $80 million in improvements to the Cotton Bowl in the last seven years. Those improvements have included the addition of 16,000 seats in 2008, a new scoreboard and improved amenities.

The contract must be approved by both schools’ board of regents. OU’s is expected to do so when it meets from June 23 to 25 in Ardmore.

“The University of Oklahoma is thrilled about preserving the rich tradition of this game in the city of Dallas,” Castiglione said. “While subject to any necessary final approval by the board of regents from universities, we are looking forward more future student-athletes and fans enjoying the spectacle of this renowned football rivalry for many years to come.”

 

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