The Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns have agreed to a contract extension that will keep their annual Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl through the 2036 season, both schools announced on Wednesday.
“The relationship between the storied Allstate Red River Rivalry and the venerable Cotton Bowl is one-of-kind regardless of sport,” said OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. “Our new agreement guarantees this historic legacy of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at the State Fair of Texas will stretch into a second century. Millions of fans throughout the years have cheered, in-person, for the Sooners or Longhorns on what’s become almost sacred ground. It only makes sense for us to do all we can with our partners to keep that tradition alive but also continue to improve upon the experience and access for our fans. The stadium renovations will be extensive, and we can’t wait for our fans to experience the enhancements.”
Oklahoma and Texas have squared off at the Cotton Bowl every season since 1929. In their most recent matchup earlier this season on Oct. 7, the Sooners defeated the Longhorns, 34-30, but Texas still leads the overall series 63-51-5.
“We’re thrilled we’ve been able to extend the contract and continue our partnership with Oklahoma, the State Fair of Texas and the City of Dallas on our great game,” said UT Vice President and Lois and Richard Folger Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. “There is absolutely nothing like the Allstate Red River Rivalry game, and with all of its history, tradition and pageantry, it needs to stay in the Cotton Bowl. So many memories have been made by generations of fans at the iconic stadium surrounded by the spectacle that is the State Fair of Texas, and we’re excited to be continuing that long into the future.”
Both Oklahoma and Texas are set to officially join the SEC on July 1, 2024. With the addition of the Sooners and Longhorns, the SEC will expand to 16 teams next season.
“This game is nostalgic for so many,” said State Fair of Texas President Mitchell Glieber. “This rivalry has been played in the Cotton Bowl during the State Fair of Texas for nearly a century. It is the most unique setting in all of college football. Both Longhorns and Sooners fans have centered annual traditions around this game, traveling to Dallas every year to showcase their pride and be a part of the most iconic rivalry in college football history.”
“Growing up in Dallas and being a huge college football fan, I have always loved the annual Texas/Oklahoma game during the State Fair,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “It is a tradition-filled matchup between historic rivals and does a wonderful job of showcasing Dallas and the State Fair of Texas nationally, while also contributing to the economic vitality of our city. I’m thrilled that both schools have committed to continue the tradition through at least 2036 – the bicentennial of the State of Texas.”