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San Antonio Paid Top Chef $200,000 For Filming

Photo: Top Chef

Remember how the visitors bureaus of both Dallas and Austin denied paying money for Top Chef to film in their cities? Well, it turns out San Antonio's not quite as clean: according to the San Antonio Express-News, the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau ponied up $200,000 for the show to film there, in addition to the $400,000 shelled out by the state of Texas.

And it looks like they got their money's worth. That $200,000 bought them eight of the season's fourteen episodes — for comparison, the Houston CVB "was given the opportunity" to pay $120,000 for just one episode. (They declined.) It's still unclear what the money was used for, and Magical Elves, the production company behind the show, is currently suing the state to keep that information under wraps.

The state is hoping the money will be worth it. A spokeswoman for the governor said the show has the potential to bring $15 million worth of tourism dollars to Texas. (It should be noted, however, that this is the same woman who told Eater back in July that "no state funds have been awarded.") If it got Pee-Wee Herman back to the Alamo, it was worth every penny.

· $200,000 Helped Get 'Top Chef' for S.A. [San Antonio Express-News]
· All Top Chef Texas Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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