The State Fair of Texas has been canceled for 2020, according to the State Fair of Texas Board of Directors.
The news comes shortly after several other state fairs, including Oklahoma's state fair, were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was an extremely tough decision. The health and safety of all involved has remained our top priority throughout the decision-making process,” said Gina Norris, board chair for the State Fair of Texas. “One of the greatest aspects of the Fair is welcoming each and every person who passes through our gates with smiles and open arms. In the current climate of COVID-19, there is no feasible way for the Fair to put proper precautions in place while maintaining the Fair environment you know and love. While we cannot predict what the COVID-19 pandemic will look like in September, the recent surge in positive cases is troubling for all of North Texas. The safest and most responsible decision we could make for all involved at this point in our 134-year history is to take a hiatus for the 2020 season.”
The state fair said if football is being played in the fall, the schools will be playing in the Cotton Bowl as scheduled, despite the cancellation of the 2020 state fair.
While the State Fair of Texas has been canceled for 2020, the NCAA, respective conferences and participating universities will be in charge of making decisions regarding football games scheduled to happen at the Cotton Bowl Stadium, the state fair said.
The annual OU-Texas rivalry is played at the Cotton Bowl during the state fair in Dallas. The game is scheduled for October 10.
OU Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione released the following statement after the state fair's cancellation was announced:
“We understand and respect the decision made by the State Fair of Texas and acknowledge that it was an extremely difficult one. Our hope remains that we can play the OU-Texas game at the Cotton Bowl, but obviously every aspect of our season requires constant monitoring and planning. The best thing all of us can do at this time is closely follow CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus.”
Prairie View A&M University and Grambling State University were also scheduled to play their annual State Fair Classic.