Dallas seeks assurances about Super Bowl spending

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on August 2, 2010 at 6:48 PM

DALLAS — Dallas doesn't want to lose a cent on Super Bowl XLV.

The city's concern is about spending money during a tight budget year with only a prediction that it will get all of it back later.

Dallas estimates it will spend most its money on security at events in the week-and-a-half leading up to NFL championship game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

A state trust fund will eventually cover the cost so local taxpayers won't, according to what Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans told the City Council's Economic Development Committee Monday.

"We're getting reimbursed $3 million as part of this initiative from the Host Committee, as well as all the incremental taxes," Evans said.

But to qualify for that state money, Dallas must deposit $1.2 million from its very tight general fund.

The city is supposed to get at least that much back later from extra sales taxes from visitors, according to a forecast by the state comptroller's office.

But as News 8 has reported about such Super Bowl studies, they often are way too optimistic.

Some Council members, like Linda Koop, agreed. "There is still a certain amount of risk," she said. "You don't know really and truly in the end if they really are going to spend this kind of money."

So Council members demanded some accountability that local taxpayers won't get the Super Bowl bill.

"In order for us to spend the dollars and believe the things we see here, my natural question is: How do we prove it up?" asked Council member Dave Neumann.

The City Manager's office says it will ask the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee for an audit to verify that the promised sales tax dollars will come in.

The Host Committee didn't return a call for comment on Monday. The full Council is set to vote on this funding plan on Wednesday.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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