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Comptroller Squirrels Away $31.2 Million For Super Bowl, Covering Public Safety Expenses and Closing Budget Gap

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This morning at the offices of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, president and CEO Bill Lively and chairman Roger Staubach announced the state's decision to reimburse the committee and four cities -- Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving -- a maximum of $31.2 million for costs associated with next year's Super Bowl.

"We're very satisfied," Lively said, even though the figure is $5 million less than had been expected based on a study by Marketing Information Masters, Inc., which also projected an economic impact of $612 million for the region.

Lively said the dough ensures that taxpayers won't be on the hook for any public safety costs, as the four participating cities can submit receipts to the comptroller for reimbursement. Out of the $31.2 million, approximately $20 million will go toward closing gap in the committee's budget.

The committee began with a $33 million budget, but it was expanded to approximately $40 million once it became involved in a concert series, an educational program called SLANT 45 and Taste of the NFL. The committee has raised about $21 million in cash and in-kind sponsorships.

Lively praised the Legislature for creating the Major Events Trust Fund, which allows the Texas comptroller to reimburse the committee and region based on how much the state expects to make in extra sales taxes on retail sales, hotel occupancy, mixed alcoholic beverage sales and state rental car fees because of the Super Bowl.

"We are lucky to live in a state like Texas that had the foresight to create this statute," Lively said. The Major Events Trust Fund was recently utilized for the NBA All-Star Game in Dallas and 2004 Super Bowl in Houston, and Lively said it could be instrumental in a potential Olympic bid.

Lively cited the sizes of Cowboys Stadium and the region as the reasons why the study estimated a record economic impact for the game.

"The probability is the impact is bigger than what they are suggesting," he said.

Lively said the goal is to develop an infrastructure in the region to allow it to become a regular stop on the NFL's Super Bowl tour, as is Miami and New Orleans. Staubach said he'll be retired by the time the next bid happens, with vice-chairman Troy Aikman likely replacing him as chairman.

"We want to make these NFL owners so happy that they want to come back again, and I really feel we're gonna do it," Staubach said. "We want to find out as quickly as we're able to bid again. The ideal thing would be Super Bowl L."

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