State government has reimbursed Texas communities more than $200 million since 2004 for hosting events ranging from Super Bowls and Austin’s Formula One race to a convention of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises.
Although the programs used for disbursing the money initially were to help Texas lure major sporting events in “highly competitive” bidding wars with other states, an iconic Texas event such as the Cotton Bowl, based in Dallas since 1937, qualified for an almost $1 million reimbursement in 2012.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Chris Shields, the lobbyist who originated the event trust fund idea, was a former lawmaker.