<i>The following is a news release from the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau.</i>
The 2008 AT&T Red River Rivalry, the annual match-up between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, is expected to generate $34 million of economic impact in Dallas County, according to a recent study.
The study, conducted by Dr. Patrick Rishe of Sportsimpacts and Webster University, estimates that the $57 million renovation to the Cotton Bowl, which increased seating capacity from approximately 76,000 to more than 92,000 in 2008, will bring in an additional $4 million to the local economy when compared to the 2007 AT&T Red River Rivalry game.
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“This will be the first year AT&T’s Red River Rivalry will be played in our newly renovated Cotton Bowl, and we know fans from the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma are going to be impressed by what they see,” said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. “New seating, wide concourses, more restrooms and concessions – it is now the ninth largest stadium in the country. Outdoors under a Texas October sky – now that’s how college football should be played!“
The 2007 AT&T Red River Rivalry added $30.2 million to the local economy, $18 million of which remained in Dallas County as local income and tax revenue. This represents an $11.5 million increase in overall economic impact when compared to the 2004 Red River Rivalry.
The economic impact produced by the AT&T Red River Rivalry compares favorably to economic impacts generated by NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision bowl games. According to the Atlanta Sports Council, the Chick-fil-A Bowl, formerly the Peach Bowl, brings in an average of $30-35 million annually to Atlanta’s economy. The 2006 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl produced $34.2 million for the city of San Diego, according to a study conducted by San Diego State University’s Center for Hospitality and Tourism.
“The AT&T Red River Rivalry is a very important event for the City of Dallas, considering the large number of visitors it attracts and the impact they have on the city economically,” said Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. “When students, alumni and fans of both schools travel to Dallas for the football game, they book our hotel rooms and fill our airports. In addition to attending the game, we also encourage them to experience the best shopping in the Southwest, our world-class restaurants and the largest urban arts district in the United States, where they can tour the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit currently on display at the Dallas Museum of Art.”
The AT&T Red River Rivalry’s current contract between the City of Dallas, State Fair of Texas and the two universities currently runs through 2015. The AT&T Red River Rivalry assists in producing traditionally the largest single-day attendance figure of the State Fair of Texas’ five-week run.
“Over the years, the AT&T Red River Rivalry has become an integral part of the State Fair of Texas,” said Errol McKoy, president of the State Fair of Texas. “The entire experience—from attending the game and walking the Midway to visiting one of the State Fair of Texas’ many museums and attractions—is rich in history and tradition and provides the most unique game-day atmosphere in the country.”