Between the Football and the S.W.A.T. Training, Cotton Bowl's Doing Just Fine

Categories: Sports
Patrick Michels
Tom Leppert gives a nod to the backers who helped the Cotton Bowl land the new Dallas Football Classic, which has a banner of its own, even if it's not as big.
Hand-wringers who said the Cotton Bowl would sit empty now that the Cotton Bowl Classic took its wagons west to Arlington couldn't be more wrong -- why, just this morning, the stadium had to juggle its schedule because it had been double-booked.

Of course, there was the big announcement we teased earlier this morning -- the Dallas Football Classic that'll bring a bowl game back to the Cotton Bowl next January 1 -- plus a day of Dallas Police Department S.W.A.T. training, with live sniper fire inside the bowl.

With all the glass and fine art hung around Cowboys Stadium, live fire training may be a tradition Dallas can hold onto.

The S.W.A.T. folks had planned on starting around 9 a.m., but were good enough to hold their fire to accommodate the mayor and his big announcement.

Leppert was enthusiastic about the "tens of thousands of people staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants and riding taxis" the game will bring to Dallas, and said the game helped cement North Texas's reputation as the place for major sports events in the U.S. "We're one of the few locations in the country with two bowl games," Leppert said.

Dallas Football Classic president Tom Starr was on hand to dish out more details about the game, which we mentioned earlier would pit the Big Ten's sixth-place team against either a Big XII or Conference USA opponent (the two conferences will alternate years, beginning with the Big XII). Starr gave a for-instance match-up, based on last year's records, of Minnesota vs. Texas A&M or Iowa State.

For any fans hoping to see a hotter match-up right away, Starr said it's worth remembering, "We are the new kid on the block." Starr, who has served as executive director of the Armed Forces Bowl, said landing the game meant convincing NCAA officials that North Texas could support an additional bowl game.

Now that the deal's official, Starr said, they can begin pursuing sponsors for the game, including the lucky company that'll win the naming rights. "One of the nice things about Dallas is there's no shortage of comapnies with corporate headquarters," Starr said.

About 20 minutes later, a helicopter landed in a parking lot nearby, dropping off S.W.A.T. officers who sprinted in and took elevated positions around the Cotton Bowl. Photos after the jump.

Photos by Patrick Michels
The DPD helicopter, arriving from the Dallas Convention Center, circled the Cotton Bowl three times before landing.

The first S.W.A.T. officers arrive.

Officers race across the parking lot to the Cotton Bowl gates.

We weren't allowed into the stadium once the live fire drill began, which was probably for the best.

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