Dallas mayor to ask for long-term agreement on Texas-OU game

Thursday, December 18th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) _ Mayor Laura Miller on Thursday was scheduled to meet with athletic directors from Texas and Oklahoma to offer financial incentives and ask for a long-term agreement to keep their annual grudge match in Dallas.

The schools have threatened to abandon the Cotton Bowl and start rotating the game between Austin and Norman, Okla., if the State Fair of Texas, the city of Dallas and other private groups don't come up with enough money to keep the game in Dallas.

``The mayor's going to tell them that she wants them to stay and would like to sign a long-term contract with them so we're not going through this every year,'' said Miller's spokesman Crayton Webb.

Ticket sales from the Red River Shootout generate $1 million for each school, but they're are asking for an additional $350,000 to cover the rising cost of insurance and travel and lodging expenses for their bands and cheerleaders who attend the game.

Last month, the Dallas City Council agreed to kick in $50,000. The State Fair and private groups are trying to raise the rest.

The schools also have asked that enhancements, such as more seating, be made to the Cotton Bowl, where the game has been held since 1929.

Miller says the city can't afford those enhancements, but she is willing to offer incentives to defray the schools' travel costs, Webb said.

UT and OU are scheduled to hold their matchup at the Cotton Bowl through 2006, but they can opt out of their contract whenever they want.