Laura Miller and some key members of the Dallas City Council have put together a proposal for an expansion of the Cotton Bowl. The cost of the proposed expansion is $50 million. The goal of the proposal is to secure long term commitments from Texas and OU to keep the Red River Rivalry in Dallas.
Let me say this, $50 million worth of renovations to the Cotton Bowl would be like giving a pig a facial. $50 million would barely be enough just to start the upgrade. The stadium has horrible seats, horrible concessions, horrible restrooms and a horribly cramped atmosphere.
Mayor Miller has basically said that this proposal is contingent upon the two universities committing long-term. I doubt very seriously. Let me repeat, I doubt VERY SERIOUSLY that $50 million in renovations will be enough to keep the game in the Cotton Bowl.
But let’s for one minute pretend that it is enough. Where does the money come from? You see, when Jerry Jones wanted $325 million for a new stadium for the Cowboys, there was a vehicle to raise that money (the hotel and rent car tax). But the money for this renovation will be coming from the City Budget. This means that corners will have to be cut somewhere in the city.
And, what exactly is “long term”? If the two schools agree to another 5 years, does that mean that the city has to pour more money into the Cotton Bowl 5 years from now in order to keep the game?
It does not take a great deal of intelligence to determine that the pursuit of a new stadium for the Cowboys was a much better cause than the lost cause of dressing up the Cotton Bowl.
This is not a good plan. I don’t think it will have any impact on whether or not the schools commit to keeping the game in Dallas. And, I think that, in the end, this proposal is all about politics. It gives city leaders an easy way out when Dallas loses the Texas/OU game. This proposal gives them the opportunity to say, “…we tried everything we could to keep the game here…”