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State Fair to Sponsor-Name the Cotton Bowl

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By BJ Austin, KERA Reporter

Dallas, TX – The State Fair of Texas gets the go ahead to sell the naming rights to the Cotton Bowl. KERA's BJ Austin says they hope to get $1 million a year.

The deal, approved by the Dallas City Council, gives the State Fair the authority to hire a company to find a sponsor name for the Cotton Bowl and the summer midway, which will open in two years. Parks Director Paul Dyer says the economy may push sale of the naming rights further into the five-year window to find a sponsor. But, he says, it's time to move after completing $50 million in renovations to the Cotton Bowl. Councilmember Mitchell Rasansky is upset the sponsorship money will not go into the city's bank account, but will be used to bring more events to the stadium.

Rasansky: I don't want to pump any more funds into this. A lot of people would say, well we have to pump funds in there. But we have to find a different way instead of taking it out of general funds.

Council members also attached a proviso that council confirmation is required for any new name for the Cotton Bowl, and they made sure that beer and cigarette companies are out of the mix.