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 façade, 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.