The Cotton Bowl stadium was originally known as "The House that Doak Built." The stadium received its name in honor of Ewell Doak Walker who was an American football player in the hall of fame. Doak was a multi-sport athlete who attended Southern Methodist University as a running back, place kicker, and defensive back. Doak was such a huge Dallas star that he was able to get incredibly large crowds to the Cotton Bowl stadium during his college career in the 1940's. The stadium was also known as Fair Park Bowl because of its location in Fair Park but the more well known name of the stadium is the Cotton Bowl, named for the Cotton Bowl Classic, a game that has been played annually since 1937.
In January 2009, the legendary Cotton Bowl Classic was moved twenty miles west to a new Dallas Cowboy's stadium. The final Cotton Bowl Game was played at the stadium on January 2, 2009. The new stadium where the Cotton Bowl Classic will be played features luxury boxes, field-length video boards, and a retractable roof. Because of the deep history and connection that the Cotton Bowl Classic has with the stadium, thousands of native Texans are mourning the loss of the game that will no longer be played at the historic landmark. Although the Classic will no longer be played at the stadium, officials are exploring the possibility of replacing the Cotton Bowl Classic with another game. A possible new bowl tenant could be the Armed Forces Bowl which is owned and operated by ESPN. Stadium officials are in current negotiations with ESPN representatives.
The Cotton Bowl stadium isn't just home to football. Over the years the stadium has been host to numerous events. The Cotton Bowl stadium has hosted concerts, international soccer games, and a musical event called the Parade of Bands. When Elvis Presley was only 21-years-old he played at the Cotton Bowl stadium in 1956. His concert attracted more than 27,000 people and goes down in history as the largest audience ever at a Texas outdoor concert. The legendary concert presented by Elvis is just one of the many historic moments that have been experienced in the Cotton Bowl Stadium.
Cotton Bowl stadium has been home to two NFL franchises since it was first established. The Texans football team played there before becoming the Kansas City Chiefs. Texas then created the Dallas Cowboys who made the stadium home in 1960. The Dallas Cowboys lived at the stadium until 1971 and then moved on to another stadium.
Today, Cotton Bowl stadium is a historic landmark. In 1994, the stadium underwent major renovations. Later, in 2008, millions of dollars was poured into the stadium for renovations and thousands of new seats were installed. With the additional seats the stadium can hold up to 68,300 attendees. It is a classic and traditional open air stadium with real grass that envelops the stadium in a perfect oval. The Cotton Bowl stadium is located east of downtown Dallas.