DALLAS (AP) _ Hoping to get the Cotton Bowl back on college
football's national stage, the board that oversees the game voted
Tuesday to move it to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium starting in
Cotton Bowl Athletic Association chairman Bruce Gadd declined to
reveal details of the contract with the Cowboys but said it will
last more than a decade.
"This is one of the most important decisions in the 71-year
history of the AT&T Cotton Bowl," Gadd said in a statement.
"Moving the Classic preserves the Classic's legacy and, at the
same time, secures its future as one of college football's best
postseason bowl games."
Backers want to get the Cotton Bowl into the Bowl Championship
Series mix and make it the future location of a national title
The move was approved by a voice vote during a somber regular
meeting of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association board of directors,
Gadd said. He said no negative votes were voiced, although some
board members may have declined to vote.
"There were tears in the room," he said. "When it was over it
was unanimous, and there was some applause. ... It was a move we
had to make. There was not one incident of someone standing up and
saying maybe we shouldn't do this."
The first game at the new venue in Arlington, located between
Dallas and Fort Worth, will be New Year's Day, 2010.
Plans for the $1 billion stadium, scheduled to open in 2009,
include a retractable roof that would cover a hole similar to the
one at Texas Stadium in Irving.
A domed stadium is important to bowl game officials because of
Dallas' sometimes cold January weather. Gadd said weather was a key
factor that kept the Cotton Bowl from being included in the BCS
when the postseason format was adopted in 1994.
"As anyone can imagine, this decision was difficult, but after
completing our due diligence, we determined that a move to the new
stadium would remove all weather concerns, keep us competitive in a
changing college postseason landscape and provide a world-class
facility for our partners, the players and fans," Gadd said.
The game, first played in 1937, has always been held at the
Cotton Bowl, which opened in 1932. The stadium is also home to the
annual Texas-Oklahoma and Grambling State-Prairie View A&M games,
which are surrounded by the State Fair of Texas. Both are under
contract there through 2010.
"We have no plans beyond that," said Texas athletic director
DeLoss Dodds, who has called the fair the basis of the Texas-OU
tradition and the reason for playing it in Dallas.
Gadd said the New Year's Day game name won't change because it
is trademarked by the association.