City Hall Shouldn't Make Any Promises About Hosting the World Cup at the Cotton Bowl
As we mentioned Saturday, there's a deal in the works to keep the annual Texas-OU orgy at Fair Park, but it hinges on the city's willingness to raise $25 million to upgrade the Cotton Bowl. It feels like chump change, considering the history and economic impact of the event. But then again, the economic impact of sports stadiums are almost always overstated, and the city just shelled out $57 million for upgrades.
But whatever. The deal looks to be getting done. No word from OU, but Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds is on board. He told the News late Saturday that the schools split about $10 million in revenue from the game, more than they would bouncing between Norman and Austin. "We like the numbers, we get a lot of people in there," Dodds told the paper. "We need to have accommodations once they get there -- restrooms, concessions, parking. Those are paramount."
It comes down, then, to city officials' Wednesday presentation to city council, which will vote on the financing later in the month. We showed you that presentation on Saturday, and it's slick enough. But one sharp Friend of Unfair Park pointed out one slide -- the one you see above -- that the city might want to control-X from its pitch.
It seems logical enough, and so promising: With a little freshening up, the Cotton Bowl could be one of the host stadiums for World Cup games in 2018 or 2022, should the United States land one of those tournaments. It will be like 1994 all over again, only this time Americans will be really ready to embrace soccer.
But as a commenter pointed out, those ships sailed long ago, and they sailed in the other direction. The 2018 and '22 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar. The announcement was made over a year ago.
But hey: The Olympics. 2024. Why not? Track and field at the Cotton Bowl, rowing on White Rock and, when we all realize just how much debt the the Olympiad brought with it, I know a great bridge we can jump from.