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

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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