DALLAS — When the Oklahoma Sooners storm the field at the Cotton Bowl in three weeks, the roar from the crowd will be louder than ever. Why? Because at least 8,000 more OU fans will be cheering.
Wednesday, Cotton Bowl officials unveiled a bigger, better stadium to the public for the first time. New additions of the completed $57 million project include upper decks in both end zones, which increased stadium capacity from 76,000 to 92,100, making it one of the largest college football venues in the country. "Dallas has a new stadium it can be proud of,” Dallas mayor Tom Leppert said. The upper deck wraps around the entire stadium. Club seating has been added to the south end zone, which could one day be converted into suites. One additional gate has been built, and four others have been enhanced with expanded stairways, which should make it easier for fans to enter and exit the stadium. Several concession stands and bathrooms have been added, as well as at least 1,000 new bathroom fixtures, which officials are hoping will diminish the long lines that have plagued halftimes. The Cotton Bowl also expanded its player locker rooms and built locker rooms for the coaches. Finally, a three-story structure has been constructed above the players' tunnel at the south end of the stadium, where a new media room was also built for postgame interviews. Slideshow: Cotton Bowl renovations
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The $57 million renovationPhase I (completed in 2006) •State-of-the-art, high-definition video scoreboard •New sound system Phase II (completed in 2007) •Replacement of existing seats •New turf Phase III (completed 2008) •Expanded upper decks and end zone seating — raising capacity from 76,000 to 92,100 •Renovated stadium facades at north and south end zones •One additional gate, with four enhanced, expanded stairways •Club seating created in the south end zone •New postgame media center •New restrooms and concession stands •1,000 additional bathroom fixtures •Refurbished concourses •Expanded team locker rooms •New locker rooms for coaches •Additional disabled seating By Jake Trotter