History will be made on January 2nd. The 73rd AT&T Cotton Bowl, the final Classic to be played in Cotton Bowl Stadium, will be played in front of a record crowd. The 2009 Classic was declared a sell out today by Cotton Bowl Athletic Association officials.
A capacity crowd of 88,175 is expected on January 2nd, crushing the previous Classic record of 77,500 set in the 1976 Cotton Bowl between Arkansas and Georgia.
"What a great way for us to say goodbye to our home of 73 years," said Kathy Saunders, Chairman of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. "It's going to be quite a celebration on January 2nd. With a packed house and a fantastic matchup between Ole Miss and Texas Tech, I'm not sure we could have written a better script."
Cotton Bowl Stadium has been home to the Classic since the game's inception in 1937. In 2010, the AT&T Cotton Bowl is moving to the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
The 2009 AT&T Cotton Bowl matches Ole Miss, 8-4 and ranked No. 20 in the AP poll, against an 11-1 Texas Tech squad that finished the regular season No. 8 in the AP. Texas Tech is led by quarterback Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, both from the Dallas area. Ole Miss has some Texas flavor at quarterback as well with Jevan Snead from Stephenville.
"We had over 16,000 new bleacher seats to sell after renovations to Cotton Bowl Stadium this past year, but with the incredible fan support of both Ole Miss and Tech, we could have used a few thousand more," Fin Ewing, AT&T Cotton Bowl Team Selection Chairman said.
The Rebels are making their fourth appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, and their first bowl appearance since the Rebels defeated Oklahoma State, 31-28, in the 2004 Classic. The Red Raiders will be making their fourth trip to the AT&T Cotton Bowl and their first since the 2006 Classic against Alabama, when Tech lost on a last-second field goal to the Crimson Tide, 13-10.
The 2009 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will be nationally televised on FOX, and kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on January 2nd. For more information, visit www.attcottonbowl.com.