Friday, May 20, 2016

Rangers


Well today the cat got let out of the bag.  No more secrecy.  The Rangers will be staying in Arlington for the next 37 years!  Right?  Not so fast.  The Rangers will be staying in Arlington if the voters approve the continuation of the 1/2 cent sales tax after AT&T Stadium is paid off.  The purpose of the sales tax continuation is to buy ½ of a new retractable roof stadium for the Rangers to play in for those 37 years.

Why the urgency since the Rangers have a contract to play here for the next 8 yrs?  The Rangers were being pursued by our friends from the east.  Dialogue from a billionaire was started and overtures were made that perked the ears of certain people in local government.  Although we had been talking to the Rangers for a few years,  this accelerated the process.   We had formulated a partnership with the Rangers,  and the Cordish Group for Texas Live, and a new 300 room hotel.  The new ballpark will be an extension that will perpetuate the synergy at the stadiums for decades to come.  However more additions to the Texas Live project might be added in the future.

What would happen to the old ball park?  The City and the Rangers are in discussions concerning the future of Globe Life Park.  Some signature elements could be preserved like the fa├žade, and the Center Field Office spaces.  Some Retail could remain and or be added.  But most likely an office development, some parking features and/or possibly the extension of Texas Live will be Globe Life’s future.

What is the timeframe for the building of a new Stadium?  With the Rangers providing the initial funding as early as 2017, the hope is that construction will start in that year, with play starting in 2021.

Why not just put a roof on the existing ball park?  In order to roof the existing stadium it would cost around $900 million, and I’m certain that it would look terrible like the Mariners Stadium in Seattle.  Essentially it looks like a huge erector set sitting off to the south of the field, hideous!  This new domed/retractable stadium will serve the Rangers fans for decades to come in air-conditioned comfort or when the weather is nice the roof will be opened.

Before I close I wanted to add that the $500 million expenditure for the stadium will return $2.53 billion to the community over the course of paying off the bonds.  Anytime I can spend a buck and get five in return it’s probably a good thing.  I like 500% on my money even if it takes 30 yrs.

Remember that the future of the Rangers is in the hands of the people.  A “YES“ vote will keep the Rangers in Arlington, where as a “NO” vote will send them to Dallas.

4 comments:

  1. The idea that Dallas can come up with $300m, let alone $500m, is a disingenuous assertion unworthy of a public servant. How are they going to do that, Charlie? They have limited funds, and they have spent them all. Not even a county-wide bond election; you have to have cash-flow to pay the bills. It's an asinine assertion designed to scare Ranger fans into voting.

    Adults should not be fooled by this tripe.

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  2. The threat didn't come from fear of funding from the city. The Hunts had the land and had already developed the reliefs of the stadium. They would have paid the other half of the stadium. I simply what you to know that your demeanor and attitude last night did not gain you any friends in the audience or on council. We didn't fall for YOUR tripe or insinuations of under handed behavior. The study, and the initial master agreement are all there for you to see. You have 5 months to digest the content and make your argument against. It is all transparent. We will now go to the Attorney General and once it is cleared by that office, we will have another vote to put it on the ballot in November.
    By the way Mayor Rollins was on the radio yesterday and he told the host that he had the land and that they would not rule out the possibility of another baseball team in the Metroplex. I found that to be very interesting.

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  3. Charlie, the study is not there to see. An executive summary is there to see...that's different from the study. Just because you can't understand such things doesn't mean that no one else can. But I won't hold my breath, because there is zero doubt that the assumptions contained within are unsupportably laughable.

    And if you think that I only 'insinuated underhanded behavior' then I must have not made it clear. You and the rest of the council deliberately acted in a dishonorable way by keeping this out of the public discussion during the city election season. This is obvious - it would be more honorable to admit that it's a political process, and you are just using the rules to effect the change you desire in the easiest way, because you believe you know best. At least then we could discuss the matter in an honest way.

    Lastly, I have been in rooms like the one last night many times. I recall one public hearing during the Mass Transit III fight (and where were your leadership skills in that discussion?) at Boles Junior High, an informal poll showed about 50 people there were in favor, and there were two against...but we won that one, and quite handily. If you think that I'm the kind of person who takes public positions to make friends, rather than to do the right thing for the city, then I guess we understand clearly where each other are coming from.

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  4. Please, let me get this straight. The Council kept the negotiations from the people because of the election. Is this the point of your conspiracy theory? Look, I know that you have never been in a process where contracts are constructed for a city, but it is imperative that you understand that a deal is not released until there is a bow on it, and the contract is complete. There are several projects in negotiation right now, and they will stay in executive session until they are ready to be presented to the public. A perfect example of why to do business this way, is the Hard Rock Hotel in Grand Prairie. They released the project before financing could be obtained and now they have no hotel, no indoor ski slopes, and egg on their collective faces.

    Look, I know you are a Tea Party lawyer, and you take up their goofy causes and make your money by slurping at their trough. But there is no conspiracy, and you have 5 months to dissect it, discuss it, and tear it apart. I want you to know that keeping the Rangers in Arlington was the top priority on my campaign for re-election. And here it is! Now, I will admit that I have concerns in some parts of the package, but nothing is perfect and this is the contract that was presented, and I will not blow this up over a few million dollars. Bottom line is that your assertion of dishonesty is simply an inept effort to cast a shadow over this proceeding that simply isn't true. I will enclose my back of the envelope math for you to dissect:

    This is a $1 billion project, of which the Rangers pay half. If you divide the remaining $500 million by 30 yrs. you get $16 mil and change a yr. This is the annual financial requirement that the citizens must bear. We asked Visa to estimate for the city the percentage of sales tax that the citizens of Arlington pay each year, and the answer was 48%. Therefore, visitors to our city pay 52%. This reduces our annual payment to $8 million a year. Then the Rangers pay $2 million a year for rent, further reducing our payment, to $6 million a year. Rental Car Tax and Hotel Tax can be estimated at $1 million, reducing our financial responsibility to $5 million a year. So for $5 million a year we get Major League Baseball in Arlington, plus the ripple effect of the Rangers as a revenue generator in our community. The study estimates this as $77.5 million a year. I don't care if we use the 10 yr. old report of $54 million a year, it is still substantial.

    Now Mr. Norred I really couldn't care what you personally think. While you were leading the charge against Public Transportation in Arlington, my leadership skills were being used flying 250 passengers to Paris. I hope this answers all of your conspiracy theory accusations, and assuages questions about my leadership capabilities. Now go attack Agenda 21, because the problem isn't with the Rangers.

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