State Fair still seeking naming rights for Cotton Bowl

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 10 at 5:20 AM

DALLAS — State Fair of Texas and Dallas city leaders are hoping to follow Jerry Jones' long-awaited success in finding a company willing to pay the price for naming rights.

Like the recently renamed AT&T Stadium, city officials hope to cash in on corporate sponsors at the Cotton Bowl, Summer Adventures amusement park, and the Fair Park Coliseum.

State Fair of Texas officials are hoping to find a corporate sponsor that could change the 83-year-old Cotton Bowl moniker, and pay up to $1 million for the rights.

"If we could sell the naming rights for the stadium, all those revenues that would be generated as a result would go back to future improvements into the stadium," said Fair Park executive director Daniel Huerta.

On September 25, Dallas City Council members will vote on a new contract with the State Fair of Texas. It would once again give fair officials permission to seek naming rights contracts for the Cotton Bowl and Summer Adventures.

But there's also a change from the old agreement. Fair officials will also be able to pursue advertising sponsors for the old, 28,000-square-foot Fair Park Coliseum.

"The Coliseum is an aging facility," Huerta said. "What we're hoping to do is as we generate revenues from these contracts, if we're successful from selling sponsorships, advertising or naming rights, all those improvments will go into those facilities."

"Fair Park has six million visitors and 1,200 events a year," said Friends of Fair Park president Craig Holcomb. "People are going to see the name, and there will be media exposure."

And while Fair Park officials are optimistic, it's been five years since city leaders gave the Fair the ability to pursue naming rights sponsors. Until now, there has been no interest.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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