The Venue: Historic Cotton Bowl Stadium - Dallas, Texas


Cotton Bowl Stadium has been home to decades of football games ranging from Dallas-area high schools to professional powerhouses. The historic football hub as we know it today began as a small, wooden football arena called Fair Park Stadium in 1930. The name change took place six years later, officially becoming Cotton Bowl Stadium.   

The Cotton Bowl originally held 45,507 spectators. Following a series of expansions from 1948-1949, the stadium achieved a new capacity of 75,504, adding decks to both the east and west side. The additional space was due to the increasing number of fans attending to see star SMU halfback, Doak Walker, throughout his college career. Thus, creating the stadium nickname, “The House that Doak Built”. During this time, the superstructure was built, creating the distinctive façade that still exists today. Later in 1970, the Cotton Bowl installed AstroTurf, which remained until 1993 when the natural grass field was re-installed.  The last update occurred in 2008 with an increased seating capacity of 92,100, leading to record attendance numbers in the following years. 

The 2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl will be the eighth consecutive postseason collegiate football game hosted at the Cotton Bowl Stadium.