Illinois foundation to sell naming rights at fairgrounds

(AP) — 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 State Journal-Register reports that the Department of Agriculture estimates that the maintenance repairs total $180 million. The department says while the foundation will be allowed to negotiate with sponsors, the department will give the final approval for each agreement.

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

Slayton says he thinks the naming rights for the Coliseum, Grandstand and Exposition Building at the Springfield fairgrounds will generate the most interest.