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Bill Would Move UIL State Competitions Away From Austin

Events contribute millions to local economy

By Lee Nichols, 7:18AM, Fri. Jan. 9, 2009

UIL events such as the state track & field championships bring thousands of visitors – and their dollars – to Austin every year
UIL events such as the state track & field championships bring thousands of visitors – and their dollars – to Austin every year
photo by Don Bender

Brownsville father-and-son legislators Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. and Rep. Eddie Lucio III have filed bills that would bar the University Interscholastic League – the governing body for public school academic, athletic, and musical competitions in Texas – from holding "regional or statewide" competitions in the same location in consecutive years.

If successful, that would be a huge blow to the Austin economy: Nearly all of the UIL's state championship competitions are held in the Austin area every year. (The UIL is a department of the University of Texas and headquartered here in Austin.) According to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, the events bring tens of thousands of people and tens of millions of dollars to town annually.

Newsdesk/The Score has yet to speak to the Lucios, but presumably their bills are meant to help other parts of the state get a piece of that pie.

The identical bills – House Bill 68 and Senate Bill 101 – do contain provisions that would allow consecutive hosting if suitable alternate locations for the events cannot be found.

More on this in next week's print edition.

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