Dallas council approves handing Fair Park over to private operator

The Dallas City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to hand the keys of Fair Park over to a private operator. It’s something that has been in the works for several years.

The food and entertainment company Spectra would run Fair Park in a public/private partnership with the help of a non-profit organization.

The goal is to make the long-neglected venue a year-around entertainment destination. Officials are also hopeful the operators will install an actual park with green space in one of the expansive parking lots surrounding Fair Park.

The deal runs for 20 years with performance benchmarks built in. The city will pay Spectra $34 million over the next 10 years. But, taxpayers would save an estimated $12 million a year compared to what the city has spent in the past.