Former Foes

Oklahoma-Texas Game to Remain in Cotton Bowl Through 2036

Perhaps lost in the craze of the opening week of the transfer portal was some of the best news for college football that we’ve gotten in some time, at least for those of us who hold nostalgia in high regard in this sport.

Almost all news in college football is progressive these days, as the sport continues to mirror the NFL in more ways almost annually, but some news that dropped on Wednesday gives me hope that there’s still some uniqueness to the college game.


In a joint announcement from Oklahoma and Texas (sound familiar?), the annual Red River Rivalry game will remain being played in the Cotton Bowl at the Texas State Fair through 2036.

In addition to the contract extension, the schools also announced an estimated $140 million investment into Cotton Bowl renovations that will enhance fans’ experience while at the game.

“This game is nostalgic for so many,” State Fair of Texas President Mitchell Glieber said. “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.”


In the agreement between the schools and their beloved venue, both Texas and Oklahoma will see an increase in the game fees paid to them and the Cotton Bowl will see its renovations completed in a two-year project. Some of the renovations include widening concourses and adding escalators, which will increase fan comfort while entering and exiting the stadium. The renovations also include improvements to concessions and restrooms, plus increasing the number of hospitality areas and premium environments.

The first phase of renovation to the west side of the stadium is set to be completed by 2026, with the second phase being completed by September 2034.

Keeping OU-Texas at the Cotton Bowl is a huge win for all of college football. The worry that this wonderful rivalry game would end up in Jerry’s World had me apprehensive that all that is good and just in this world was fading. Nowhere else in the world can you visit a state fair, go watch the best rivalry game in college football, and then guzzle as many beers and funnel cake as possible to either celebrate or drown your sorrows after the contest. It’s a beautiful American tradition that will live on for at least one more decade, and for that we are truly grateful.

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