Monday, August 12, 2013
State Fair offers naming right$ for Cotton Bowl and Coliseum
The city hopes a sponsorship deal brings in between $500,000 and $1 million annually, which would go toward renovations of the Cotton Bowl.
DALLAS In 2008, the Dallas City Council agreed to let the State Fair of Texas pursue naming rights for the Cotton Bowl, known solely as the Cotton Bowl for 83 years. But, clearly, that didn’t take; it’s still the Cotton Bowl. Still, the State Fair’s not ready to give up, especially in the wake of Jerry Jones’ rechristening Cowboys Stadium “AT&T Stadium” for the right price.
So on Thursday the Park Board will extend the State Fair’s naming-rights contract. It’s little more than a formality. But there is one twist: The city will allow the State Fair to sweeten the pot by adding another Fair Park landmark to the deal. Any company willing to snap up the Cotton Bowl’s naming rights will also get to rebrand the 28,000-square-foot Coliseum, the former home of the Dallas Black Hawks (and the Assassination City Roller Derby) that also used to be an active concert venue back when Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana were in ascension.
“There’s nothing imminent with naming rights,” says Willis Winters, head of the city’s Park and Recreation Department. “The economy still is what it is.” Winters says “we can hope the timing’s better than it was five years ago,” but “there’s nothing definite.” Perhaps the Coliseum is just the kickstarter the deal needs.
The city hopes a sponsorship deal brings in between $500,000 and $1 million annually — money that would go back into the Cotton Bowl, which is in the midst of yet another round of renovations (which cost around $25 million) following the $50-million overhaul unveiled in 2008. But that projected revenue may prove to be just wishful thinking; as Winters reminds, again, “There’s nothing imminent.”
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