City to Spend Some Fair Park Marketing Money to Keep TicketCity Bowl Through 2018 Game

Categories: City Hall, Sports
The Cotton Bowl Classic, of course, is no longer played at the Cotton Bowl -- hasn't been for two years, when the bowl game decamped for Arlington, thus making it a very unhappy New Year 'round Fair Park at kickoff time. Then came along the TicketCity Bowl -- Texas Tech vs. Northwestern to start -- attracting 40,121 to a 92,000-capacity stadium where the year before had been zero. And if it wasn't quite Norte Dame-Texas or UCLA-Arkansas or Tommy Lewis tackling Dickey Moegle from the sidelines, something was a hell of a lot better than nothing.

This year's game actually takes place January 2, pitting a Conference USA challenger against the No. 6 finisher in the Big Ten, and the city of Dallas would like to make sure the TCB sticks around a good long while -- through at least the 2018 game. Hence this morning's briefing before the council's Economic Development Committee outlining a proposal that would take State Fair of Texas revenue intended for Fair Park and slide it on over to Tom Starr and his Dallas Football Classic, the umbrella organization for the TicketCity Bowl.

Right now, the State Fair of Texas pays the city $50,000 every year "for marketing and community programs involving Fair Park, as determined by the City, in its sole and absolute discretion," per Wednesday's council briefing agenda item. The new proposal would put four years' worth of those payments in the hands of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, which would then use the dough to pay out the teams invited to play in the TicketCity Bowl. Starr's group says it'll pay that money back, while the DCVB says it'll kick in an additional $200,000.

Says the briefing given the council, long story short: "The purpose of providing funding for this game is to (1) create vibrancy and activity in Fair Park; and (2) increase in the economic impact to the City through the bed tax and other taxes."

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Get rid of this worthless game.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Couple years ago, Jerry Jones was looking to build a new stadium. He could've put it in Fair Park. Could've gotten rid of that broken down toilet bowl that is the Cotton Bowl. But Laura Miller would have none of taxpayer money going to help out Jerry.

Instead, Dallas pours millions into the toilet bowl to add seating and a jumbotron. And what happens? The Cotton Bowl game goes to Arlington. The college football kickoff game goes to Arlington. Concerts go to Arlington. International Soccer tournaments go to Arlington. The Super Bowl goes to Arlington. The BCS is about to yank the Fiesta Bowl from the BCS and will rotate the NCAA National Championship every four years to Arlington.

And in a few years, the Texas-OU contract will be up and those schools will threaten to stop playing at the toilet bowl and go to a home-and-home schedule unless Dallas coughs up millions more in bribes and toilet bowl renovations. And Dallas area boosters will scream about the tradition of keeping the game at Fair Park and force Dallas to pay more millions.

Wouldn't it have just been easier to let Jerry build a new Cotton Bowl? Granted that Jerry is Lucifer's nephew. But jeesh. I'm sick of Dallas flushing millions down the toilet bowl while Jerry is cackling from Arlington as all the great games go there.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

I get that the city needs events in the Cotton Bowl to justify the money it paid for the "renovations," but how about less crappy bowl games, more concerts?


Since the Cotton Bowl is played at Cowboys Stadium, shouldn't this bowl game be called the Cowboys Stadium Bowl? Seems logical -- and spiteful. Let's do it!

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