the past, interviews were conducted in a tent.
"This mission was two-fold,” said State Fair of Texas president Errol McKoy. "First, we wanted to show Texas and Oklahoma we could deliver on what we promised. Second, we want to attract new Big 12 and SEC conference teams to play here.”
Thanks in part to the project plans, OU and Texas officials signed a contract extension last year to keep the rivalry at the Cotton Bowl through 2015.
The new agreement was made after the New Year's Day Cotton Bowl Classic decided to relocate to the Dallas Cowboys' new $1 billion stadium beginning in 2010, which freed up $700,000 for the city of Dallas to use in persuading OU and Texas to stay.
OU and Texas now receive $850,000 in direct annual subsidy from the city of Dallas beginning this year, up from $250,000.
The subsidy will be bumped up to $1 million in 2012.
Officials said the Cotton Bowl could host at least six additional college football games other than OU-Texas during the October state fair — three Saturdays and three Thursday nights — which could help pay for the renovations.
"That's the hope,” Leppert said. "This (project) wouldn't have made sense if we weren't going to try and do that.”
Slideshow: Cotton Bowl renovations