The Red River Rivalry game between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners will remain at the Cotton Bowl through 2036 thanks to a new contract extension signed by the schools that both programs announced on Wednesday.
The schools will receive increased game fees as a result of the deal in addition to a commitment from the city of Dallas to fund an estimated $140 million renovation of the historic stadium built in 1930. It’s the fifth renovation overall and the first since the seating capacity was expanded to over 90,000 in 2008, among other upgrades.
The improvements will widen concourses and add escalators, renovate concessions and restrooms, and increase hospitality areas and premium environments with west side renovations planned for completion by 2026 and east side renovations planned for completion by 2034.
“We’re thrilled we’ve been able to extend the contract and continue our partnership with Oklahoma, the State Fair of Texas and the City of Dallas on our great game,” said Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte. “There is absolutely nothing like the Allstate Red River Rivalry game, and with all of its history, tradition and pageantry, it needs to stay in the Cotton Bowl. So many memories have been made by generations of fans at the iconic stadium surrounded by the spectacle that is the State Fair of Texas, and we’re excited to be continuing that long into the future.”
The rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma dates back to 1900 with the 119th meeting occurring in October, the 95th consecutive year the game was played at a neutral site with the State Fair hosting the game since 1929 before the Cotton Bowl opened the following year.
“This game is nostalgic for so many,” said State Fair of Texas President Mitchell Glieber. “This rivalry has been played in the Cotton Bowl during the State Fair of Texas for nearly a century. It is the most unique setting in all of college football. Both Longhorns and Sooners fans have centered annual traditions around this game, traveling to Dallas every year to showcase their pride and be a part of the most iconic rivalry in college football history.”