Dallas, TX – The Cotton Bowl is showing off a $50 million face lift. KERA's BJ Austin says bands, balloons and speeches marked the event.
The great James Madison High School Marching band played as cheerleaders greeted the City Council coming onto the field through the new south entrance tunnel. Council members Linda Koop and Dave Neumann were impressed.
Austin: Have you seen any of this?
Koop and Neumann: No, I haven't yet. It looks beautiful. Wow. Wow is right, unbelievable. Nice, very nice.
16,000 additional seats now make it a true bowl, with seats circling the entire field. There are more restrooms, more concession areas, new locker rooms and a media center. Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert says this means new life for the Cotton Bowl
Leppert: Dallas now has a stadium we can be proud of, a stadium that we can use to promote college teams, soccer tournaments and to create new and exciting venues right here at Fair Park.
The State Fair rivalries of Texas-OU and Grambling-Prairie View will be the first games in the new and improved Cotton Bowl. This year, a third game has been added during the Fair: Texas Commerce A&M and Eastern Oklahoma.
The Mayor promises an aggressive marketing campaign to make the most of the $50 million taxpayers approved to redo the 76-year-old stadium.