OU opens talks to extend Cotton Bowl deal

Updated: January 26, 2006, 12:34 AM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma board of regents on Wednesday authorized athletic director Joe Castiglione to negotiate with Dallas city officials an extension that would allow the annual football game against the University of Texas to continue at the Cotton Bowl.

The current agreement calls for the OU-Texas game to be held at the Cotton Bowl through 2008.

"Fans want to continue the tradition of the universities meeting in Dallas," OU President David Boren said Wednesday.

Dallas city leaders pledged to add more than 16,000 seats under a remodeling plan unveiled last month, but Dallas Mayor Laura Miller has said she wanted extended commitments from both schools before making improvements.

The nearly $50 million proposal would upgrade seats, concession stands, scoreboards and restrooms to the decaying 75-year-old stadium. Seating capacity would increase to 92,100 under the 34-proposal that was to be submitted to the City Council.

Frustrated with the deteriorating facility, athletic directors from Texas and Oklahoma have threatened to exercise an opt-out after 2007 and switch the Red River Rivalry to a home-and-home series.

Since 1929, the border rivalry has been played in Dallas, roughly halfway between the campuses in Norman, Okla., and Austin. The stadium is equally divided between burnt orange-clad Texas fans and crimson-wearing Sooners and anchors the surrounding State Fair of Texas.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press