2020 has been no stranger to major events being canceled, and today has been no different as the 2020 State Fair of Texas has officially been canceled for the first time since World War II.
This isn’t exactly surprising, as few things jam more people into a tightly packed area than the State Fair of Texas – and with the Coronavirus pandemic going as strong as ever there was really no chance this would be able to happen.
The next question after the announced cancellation naturally was what was to become of the annual Red River Showdown between Oklahoma and Texas – typically played right at the heart of the fair in the Cotton Bowl.
Per the release from the State Fair of Texas, if football is played this season then “the schools will be playing in the Cotton Bowl as scheduled.”
Obviously this comes as a little bit interesting since the main draw with playing the game at the Cotton Bowl is obviously the fact that it is at the fair which provides one of the most unique and iconic settings in all of sports.
If there is no fair, does it really make sense to play the game there?
While the fair’s release was more concrete that the game would still be played at the Cotton Bowl, Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione left a little more wiggle room in his statement:
“We understand and respect the decision made by the State Fair of Texas and acknowledge that it was an extremely difficult one. Our hope remains that we can play the OU-Texas game at the Cotton Bowl, but obviously every aspect of our season requires constant monitoring and planning. The best thing all of us can do at this time is closely follow CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus.”
Key parts of that are that they “hope” it could still be played there, but absolutely nothing is remotely set in stone at this stage.
Logically, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense on paper to still play the game at the Cotton Bowl if there is not a fair.
For safety purposes, playing the game on either Oklahoma’s or Texas’ campus seems to make the most sense (OU is supposed to be the home team this year, for what it’s worth).
Then, even if you still wanted to keep the “neutral” field aspect of it – why not play the game in far superior facilities like at AT&T Stadium which is just some 20 miles or so away from the Cotton Bowl?
There is still a lot to be ironed out with this but what we know for now is that it seems like the OU-Texas game is still being intended on played at the Cotton Bowl in 2020 despite the lack of the fair – but I have a hard time imagining it will stay that way in the coming months.
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