With the Cotton Bowl (the game) packing up for Jerry-World, the Cotton Bowl (the stadium) will be without any post-season college football this season for the first time since 1937.
However, according to stadium manager Roland Rainey, this will likely change soon, possibly as soon as the 2011 bowl season.
Rainey said that Tom Starr, the former executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, has expressed interest in bringing the recently renovated stadium another bowl game; as well as, possibly, another big-ticket regular season game.
The Cotton Bowl, which can seat 92,000 for a football game, is still home to the annual Texas-Oklahoma Red River Rivalry (Shootout sounds so much better) and the Grambling-Prairie View State Fair Classic, both of which are played during the State Fair.
Starr said that talks are in preliminary stages, but remains optimistic, saying, “There is room for more good college games in the area.”
The Cotton Bowl, located in the heart of Fair Park, has seen more than its fair share of history:
From 1930, when the stadium opened, to 1936, the venue was called “Fair Park Stadium.”
In the late-forties, the Cotton Bowl became known locally as “the house that Doak built,” a nod to SMU star running back Doak Walker.
In 1950, in a stunt to break the record for attendance for a Texas League Game, the Dallas Eagles got permission to play at the Cotton Bowl. Manager Charlie Grimm trotted out major league legends such as Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Dizzy Dean to face one batter before being replaced by the regular Eagles lineup.
The stunt worked: the 54,151 in attendance remains the largest crowd in the history of the Texas League, and the second largest in minor league history.
In 1956, a 21 year-old Elvis Presley performed in the Cotton Bowl, drawing more than 27,000 (probably) shrieking fans.
2010 will mark the stadium’s seventieth anniversary.
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