ARLINGTON, Texas — When major college football christens its four-team playoff in January 2015, Cotton Bowl and Cowboys Stadium executives expect their game and venue to be heavily involved.
National semifinals will rotate among six bowl games; three — the Sugar, Orange and Rose Bowls — have been selected, with the others still to be determined. Hopeful organizing committees, representing different cities and venues, will battle over the championship site with Super Bowl-like bids.
Only two short years ago, nasty weather and a fiasco involving the installment of temporary seats inside Cowboys Stadium — issues college football executives would surely seek to avoid — tarnished North Texas' first-ever Super Bowl experience, when Green Bay beat Pittsburgh on Feb. 6, 2011.
“That was just a freak storm,” said Cotton Bowl chairman Tommy Bain.
“That doesn't happen that often down here at all, and the seating situation is something that can be controlled. We've addressed that, not only with the Cowboys organization, but with the NFL.”
North Texas' unpredictable weather was among the primary reasons the Cotton Bowl lost its status as a premier college football postseason event, and was moved four years ago from Dallas' old, antiquated Cotton Bowl Stadium to Jerry Jones' majestic football palace in nearby Arlington.
But nasty winter weather still wreaked all kinds of havoc the week of Cowboys Stadium's first Super Bowl.
In addition to the slick roads and dangerous ice — which, in the days leading up to the game, fell off the stadium's roof and injured workers — the weather prevented the full installation of temporary seats, leaving about 1,250 Super Bowl ticket holders without a place to sit.
I know. I was there.
I covered the game along with three Oklahoman colleagues, and before the opening kickoff, I ventured down to field level and found several seat-less, livid fans crammed into the swanky Miller Lite Club.