Originally known as Fair Park Stadium, the Cotton Bowl was opened in 1930 on the site of the State Fair of Texas located near downtown Dallas. The stadium was renamed to the Cotton Bowl following the creation of the Cotton Bowl Classic which was played at the stadium from 1937-2009. The first game ever played in the Cotton Bowl was between Dallas area high schools, and the stadium has hosted some of the biggest high school games in the history of the state.
Following the departure of the Cotton Bowl Classic from the stadium, the Cotton Bowl is now most famous for hosting the Red River Showdown. Each season the 92,000+ stadium is filled half with Burnt Orange, and half with Crimson as the Texas Longhorns take on the Oklahoma Sooners. The Cotton Bowl is also the host of the Heart of Dallas Bowl game, which has been played every season since 2011. There are few college football stadiums in the country that have the amount of history and tradition of the Cotton Bowl and attending a game in the stadium is one of the must do’s for al college football fans.
Sports at the Cotton Bowl Stadium
The cotton Bowl has been the home to many different sporting and special events since opening in 1930. Since 1932, the Red River Showdown has been played at the fairgrounds in Dallas. The Cotton Bowl was also the site of the Cotton Bowl Classic from 1937 until the game moved to AT&T Stadium in 2009. SMU Mustangs Football had two separate stints of holding their home games at the Cotton Bowl, first from 1932-1978 and again from 1995-2000.
Cotton Bowl FAQ
When do gates open prior to a game?
The fair will open up early one game day, so feel free to get there at 8 AM to enjoy some food and atmosphere before kickoff. Gates to the stadium generally open 90 minutes before kickoff.
What is the best way to get there?
The DART train is a great way to get to the game without driving in traffic and paying for parking. You can also take shuttle buses that are set up at DART stations in Dallas that will also return you to the station after the game.
Cotton Bowl Seating Guide
Lower Level Sections 1-8
West side of stadium, commonly referred to as the "alumni" side. There are chairbacks in Sec 3-6, rows 10-30. The shade will hit this side of the stadium first.
Lower 100 Level
Texas: the Longhorns fans take up all of sections 7 through 23 of the lower level, with each section having over 60 rows. Sections 14-16 are directly behind the endzone and the Longhorn band. Sections 6 & 24 are split down the middle between Texas and Oklahoma fans, so make sure you’re getting the seats on your side.
Oklahoma: the Sooners fans take up all of sections 1-5 and 25-26 of the lower level, with each section having over 60 rows. Sections 32-34 are behind the endzone and next to the tunnel that the teams enter the field from. Sections 6 & 24 are split down the middle between Texas and Oklahoma fans, so make sure you’re getting the seats on your side.
Upper 200 Level
Texas: Longhorns fans will be situated through sections 107 through 127, with sections having up to 34 rows. Sections 106 and 128 will be split down the middle with Sooners fans.
Oklahoma: Sooners fans will be seated in sections 101-105 and 129- 144, with sections having up to 34 rows. Sections 106 and 128 will be split down the middle with Texas fans.