Cotton Bowl Preps for State Fair Classic

Saturday’s game expects more than 50,000 fans

Cotton Bowl crews spent the Friday putting down a fresh coat of paint on the field and testing out the public address system for Saturday's State Fair Classic.

The Grambling State Tigers and the Prairie View A&M Panthers will square off in front of more 50,000 fans.

"It's one of the biggest classic football games in the state of Texas," said Al Wash, president of ALW Entertainment, which is responsible for the game's marketing team.

"For Prairie View this is their No. 1 payday," Wash said. "Grambling is No. 2 behind the Bayou Classic, so this is their bowl game. They don't have bowl games in black college football -- this is it."

After Hurricane Katrina, the game has held special significance for Grambling fans.

"Grambling, being from Louisiana, they had a feeling that this is part of home now," Wash said. "A lot of people never went back to New Orleans, and they stayed right here in Texas, so this is they home now, so they can relate to this particular classic game."

Besides the gridiron action, fans also look forward to the highly anticipated halftime show, the Battle of the Bands.

"People [are] coming out to enjoy the game, watch the bands, compete on the field and, of course, enjoy the atmosphere of the State Fair of Texas," fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding said.

The fair said the game is expected generate $8 million in revenue for the city of Dallas.

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