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Tuesday, October 25, 2011
TCU: No Big 12 games at Cowboys Stadium

By Art Garcia

FORT WORTH -- Rumors that TCU would play Oklahoma or any other Big 12 opponent at Cowboys Stadium in the future were vehemently shot down today by coach Gary Patterson and athletic director Chris Del Conte.

Patterson actually broached the topic when discussing why TCU's nonconference game with BYU on Friday night is being played at Cowboys Stadium instead of Amon G. Carter Stadium. Patterson, naturally, would prefer to host the ESPN-televised game on campus.

"Of course, I'd have 40,000 in purple instead of 50-50," he said during his weekly media luncheon. "That's why we won't play people in the Big 12 over in Cowboys Stadium if I have a say because I'd rather have home-field advantage. As soon as you go to Cowboys Stadium, you don't have home-field advantage."

TCU moves into the Big 12 in 2012. Oklahoma is slated to come to Fort Worth as part of the new conference schedule, though dates have yet to be decided.

There's been speculation that "bigger" Big 12 games, such OU and Texas, could be moved to Cowboys Stadium to satisfy extra ticket demand. Jerry Jones' palace can seat 100,000 for football, which is twice the capacity of what the renovated Amon G. Carter will hold.

TCU's on-campus home is currently undergoing an expansive $164 million upgrade that will be ready for next season. Whatever revenue can be generated in extra ticket sales isn't enough for TCU to drop a conference home game.

"No. We've never had any discussions about that. Ever," Del Conte said. "Our full intent is because of the investment we are making is to play all of our [Big 12] games at home."

He added that staging Big 12 games in Arlington has never been talked about with TCU officials in any official capacity by the Big 12, Oklahoma or anyone else.

"All I know is we're playing all of our games here," Del Conte said. "We have no intent ever to move our conference games out of our venue."

Patterson is a big fan of Cowboys Stadium. The Horned Frogs beat Oregon State there last year and practiced under its closed roof earlier this season. "It's a great place to play a football game," he said. Just not a conference game.

Moving games down I-30 goes against everything TCU has done the last 15 years to go from being left out to a college football force.

"If winning is important, then you need to keep it at Amon Carter Stadium," Patterson said. "If you want to make money, go to Cowboys. If you want to be about winning the conference title, then we need to play here. I don't know why we build a new stadium and then go 30 minutes away and play somewhere else."