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Cotton Bowl May Get Dome

May 22, 1998

DALLAS (AP) _ A proposal is in the works to turn the Cotton Bowl into a domed facility.

A proposal was presented Thursday to the Dallas Park and Recreation Board in which a non-profit foundation would be given one year to raise construction money and three more years to actually dome the stadium.

If approved, the Cotton Bowl Dome Foundation would spend $140 million on renovation that would also include 80 luxury suites, 4,000 club seats and general repair work all over the 60-year-old stadium.

The Cotton Bowl is about five miles southeast of downtown Dallas.

The foundation would lease the facility for 30 years and assume control of all bookings, marketing, maintenance, ticket sales and concessions.

The foundation would not be allowed to make a profit from Cotton Bowl operations. After breaking even, the foundation would direct any surpluses into an operating reserve and two trust funds _ one for stadium repairs and another for work on other Fair Park facilities.

``It’s still a work in progress,″ said Dianne Curry, park board president. ``The board still wants the project to happen, but there are still some issues to work on.″

The deal looks like a good one for the city, she said.

``With private funding, the renovation and increased use of the Cotton Bowl will happen quicker,″ Ms. Curry said.

The park board has not set a date to further review the proposed Cotton Bowl deal, but city officials said they will try to present more information at the board’s next meeting on June 4.

If the agreement wins park board approval, it would go to the City Council for consideration.

Darrell Jordan, a Dallas lawyer spearheading the project, said the foundation has secured pledges of about $25 million toward the renovation and hopes to raise about $75 million through the sale of suites, seats and advertising rights.

The foundation plans to turn to financial markets for the rest of the construction money, Jordan said.

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