Bill would help Cowboys Stadium score college football championship

Posted Saturday, Feb. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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ARLINGTON -- State Sen. Kelly Hancock has filed a bill to help Texas sports venues, including Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, score a BCS National Championship game in future years.

The current NCAA Bowl Championship Series is among events eligible to participate in the state's Major Events Trust Fund, which the Legislature created to attract events to Texas that are normally held in other states.

Hancock filed Senate Bill 398 this week to add language so that the NCAA's new subdivision championship format, which will change to a four-team, three-game playoff system in 2014, remains eligible for funding.

"These events benefit sponsoring communities, participating member institutions and student-athletes. It is important that our community not be left out because of something as simple as a name change," Hancock said in a statement.

Tommy Bain, chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, told the Star-Telegram last month that bowl officials are "cautiously optimistic" about bringing the 2015 national championship game to Cowboys Stadium. The AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic has been at Cowboys Stadium since 2010. Bowl officials are campaigning to have the Cotton Bowl Classic become part of the BCS under the new format.

Cowboys spokesman Brett Daniels said Friday that the team is working closely with the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic about bidding to become a host venue.

"The college football world is still trying to define what that bid would be. It's definitely something we are interested in pursuing once we get those details," Daniels said.

Arlington has used the Major Event Trust Fund to recover expenses for hosting the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XLV in 2011 and the Offense-Defense Bowl at the city-owned Cowboys Stadium.

The state comptroller sets aside millions in sales, liquor, rental car and hotel occupancy taxes projected to be generated from out-of-town visitors and uses the money to help cities, counties and organizations defray the expense of hosting an event.

"Major sporting events like NCAA Bowl Championship Series playoff games or the Super Bowl bring an immense amount of economic benefits to our state and local economies," Hancock wrote. "SB398 will ensure the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision's eligibility to compete for these funds in the future."

Super Bowl XLV brought an estimated $7.7 million to North Texas based on applicable city and county tax rates, Hancock said. The state received an estimated $294.7 million in direct spending associated with the game, he said.

Susan Schrock,

817-709-7578

Twitter: @susanschrock

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