Fair Park First and Overland Partners unveiled concepts for the anticipated venue projects that are a part of the November 8 election to improve six iconic venues across the Fair Park campus. If approved by City of Dallas voters, the proposition would also improve and expand the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas. 

“Recapturing visitor revenue for local use is the greatest opportunity to elevate these unique facilities inside Fair Park, which will amount to the largest single investment in the future of Fair Park for the citizens of Dallas,” said Darren L. James, President of Fair Park First. “The resulting improvements to facilities such as the Band Shell, Coliseum, Cotton Bowl Stadium, and Exhibition Halls will bring those facilities into the 21st century and make them attractive for increased year-round use now and well into the future.”

Last month, the Dallas City Council approved an ordinance calling for a special election on November 8. The ordinance will allow qualified Dallas voters to vote on the venue project of expansion of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas and the venue project of improvements to several Fair Park facilities vital to the State Fair of Texas and the Park at large. The Fair Park facilities include the Automobile Building, Centennial Hall, Fair Park Band Shell, Music Hall at Fair Park, Cotton Bowl Stadium, and Fair Park Coliseum (together called venue projects). If approved, the public vote would increase the hotel occupancy tax by 2% to assist with financing the venue projects. 

“The coming election is an opportunity to greatly restore and improve these historic facilities at no cost to local taxpayers,” said Brian Luallen, CEO of Fair Park First. “This is a game changer for Fair Park and creates an incredible experience for millions of visitors a year.” 

These improvements and rehabilitation projects will be funded without impacting the City’s general fund or increasing property taxes. The City of Dallas has committed to making good faith efforts to spend 20% of the revenues derived from the new 2% hotel tax increase for the Fair Park facilities venue projects as allowed by state law. Current estimates of $300 million in proceeds represent the largest investment in Fair Park since construction for the Texas Centennial Exhibition in 1936.

“Fair Park has the potential to be one of the most significant, iconic, monumental, urban entertainment and sports destination environments anywhere in the world,” said Bryan Trubey of Overland Partners. “And ultimately, this once-in-a-lifetime project is much bigger than a quantified economic impact.”