• Image used with permission through a Creative Commons license with Flickr user lilywarrior
    Image used with permission through a Creative Commons license with Flickr user lilywarrior

Hosting the greatest rivalry in college football every year can put some wear on a stadium. That may be why the Cotton Bowl is getting a new look.

On Wednesday, New York–based artist Jamie Carpenter and Heery International's Eric Peek, Assoc. AIA, presented preliminary designs to restore the façadeof Dallas's Cotton Bowl. One of the nation's greatest football venues, it was the first home of the Dallas Cowboys and hosts such contests as the annual State Fair Classic between Grambling State University and Prairie View A&M University.

Stakeholders, fans, and media, including The Dallas Morning News, were on hand Wednesday for a first look at preliminary design concepts.  

Kira Witkin reports that the $25.5 million touchup will include renovated end-zone areas, an elevator, skybox-type seating, and new concession stands—as well as an art feature. Overlayed perforated metal screens will form a kind of mesh to create dramatic light and shadow effects. The designers emphasized that the concepts are just possiblities at this point.

The design team will submit formal mock-ups on September 12. The construction will be completed by September 2013.

A 2008 renovation ensured that the Red River Shootout—the annual showdown between the University of Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma University Sooners, the greatest rivalry in college football*—will stay at the Cotton Bowl through 2020.

Not every fan thinks the Cotton Bowl needs a new look. As one fan told Witkin, "There is no reason to change any of the façade of the Cotton Bowl." The grounds for the fan's expertise? He said he saw every game that the Dallas Cowboys played at the Cotton Bowl (during the 1960–1971 seasons). In Big D, that counts as authority.

* Full disclosure: The writer is a Texas Longhorn. Hook 'em.