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Bill Lets College Football Playoffs Tap Major Events Trust Fund

KUT News

Public subsidies could attract college football playoffs to Texas.

A public hearing will be held Thursday on a bill that would modify the language of the major event trust fund to include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football post-season playoff or championship game.

Last June, the NCAA approved a four-team playoff for college football to begin in the 2014-15 season. The change, which was long demanded by fans, is a dramatic shift from the 10-team Bowl Championship Series format.   

Now, some Texas lawmakers want the state to be a top-choice host when the new system begins.

The major event trust fund is based on this logic: a large game or convention comes to town bringing with it hoards of attendees who will inject tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars into the local economy. With so many locations to choose from across the country, cities and states compete by offering subsidies to attract event organizers.

Subsidies mean that the state may underwrite costs for things like security or infrastructure renovations. The money for the funds is provided partially by state tax revenue, but also by the local municipality hosting the event.

Last year, public money was used to bring Formula 1 to Austin.

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