Mayor Tom Leppert whipped out his giant bedazzled scissors this afternoon to officially open the newly renovated Cotton Bowl, which looks every bit of its $57-million face lift. That was but one milestone during the fancy to-do, which came complete with chicken-fried bacon and football-shaped Dr Pepper bottles -- you can see Angela Hunt showing off hers in our slide show, matter of fact.
Leppert kicked off the ceremony, held in the south end zone, by thanking countless city officials, State Fair board members and behind-the-scenes peeps responsible for the pretty new stuff. But he saved his biggest thank-yous for the voters who approved the three-phase redo that includes a high-def video scoreboard, expanded seating (the stadium can now accommodate 92,100 patrons), a shiny new post-game media center, larger common areas and so much more -- including sparkling new potties, yes!
“Dallas now has a stadium that it can be proud of,” Leppert boasted. “This is a turning point. It’s time to stop looking back and asking the what-if questions and instead to double our efforts to promote new college games here and to get other events right here in Fair Park.”
While it will be a few weeks till the first game is played in the new stadium, Leppert was a part of the “first completed pass” thrown in the joint -- to council member Tennell Atkins. He's also responsible for the first incomplete pass -- to Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway. The errant throw almost led to the first decapitation in the Cotton Bowl, as it nearly took off my head, thanks much, Mayor Tom. --Courtney Clenney
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.