SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation is looking to sell naming rights of the state fairground buildings in Springfield and Du Quoin to help pay a backlog of maintenance repairs.

But the state Department of Agriculture will have the final say.

The department estimates that maintenance repairs total $180 million, the State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/2uzKZfH ) reported. While the foundation will be allowed to negotiate with sponsors for naming rights, the department will give the final approval for each agreement.

“This includes which building, which company, and the terms of each agreement,” the department said.

The foundation’s board chairman, John Slayton, said there have been discussions with potential sponsors in anticipation of legal advice from the agriculture department and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office.

“I really think we will have one or two before the state fair,” Slayton said.

The 2017 state fair is scheduled for Aug. 10-20.

Slayton said he thinks the naming rights for the coliseum, grandstand and exposition building at the Springfield fairgrounds will generate the most interest. He said preliminary discussions for naming rights range from $200,000 to $250,000 annually for five years.

Rauner announced the creation of the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation during the 2016 state fair in Springfield, after he failed to win legislative approval for a state-sponsored foundation.


Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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