Monday, June 13, 2016

Mayor Richard Greene's Article

All kinds of myths and imaginary scenarios have appeared in the news, commentary and social media since the announcement of a new Texas Rangers ballpark. One of the most misleading areas of discussion unfolded in the wake of the latest plans to ensure that the Rangers remain right where they belong — in Arlington.  It’s the irrational conjecture by some that Dallas isn’t really trying to lure the team, and they cannot afford the cost of building a downtown stadium.  To realize how nonsensical that is we need only to be reminded that efforts to steal the Rangers began 27 years ago when the team’s ownership changed hands.
Newspapers repeatedly declared the team would be moving to Dallas, that plans were already drawn up, and multiple downtown locations were available.  Facing that serious threat, Arlington voters saw to it that the Rangers’ future would unfold in a new ballpark that opened in 1994.
About two years ago, knowing the current lease on the Arlington ballpark was coming to maturity, Dallas dusted off its old plans and resumed its determination to steal the team.  Current team owners didn’t ask Dallas to do that. They never needed to because Dallas leaders were aggressive in their efforts to entice the team.
Arlington officials learned of the renewed initiatives from Dallas City Council members who couldn’t manage to conceal their enthusiasm.  The forces at work included the current mayor, who had declared, upon his election, that relocating the Rangers was a major goal.  He had the support of Downtown Dallas Inc., its CEO who has acknowledged the organization’s role, and its nearly 100 board members with vital interests in the future of the central business district.
Among those leaders are the city’s bankers, investment managers, utility company executives, real estate moguls, lawyers, accountants, news media chiefs, architects, landowners, tourism officials, oil barons, hotel owners and managers, retailers, transit officials, construction company owners and politicians.  The president of the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, a former Rangers officer, is among them, thereby opening up an entire support system beyond downtown.  Obviously, they have a huge jackpot to win by bringing the Rangers and their 3 million fans to town and driving incalculable monetary benefits to them all.
What about the question of how Dallas would fund a new billion-dollar retractable domed stadium?  First, the Rangers would likely pay for half the cost — just as they have agreed to do in the Arlington proposal.  Entirely believable reports say the city of Dallas, not needing voter approval, would arrange financing for maybe half the remaining cost.   With an annual city budget exceeding $3 billion, payment on that much new debt is entirely doable.  That leaves the remaining money coming from the downtown interests named above.
Take a look at who these people are. Imagine the magnitude of their immense personal and corporate wealth.  Then consider what hosting a major-league baseball team will mean to them in terms of financial gain. When you do, the realization of how and why they would come up with that investment would be obvious.  Don’t be surprised if any of those identified above now equivocate about their plans or deny the structure of the deal being worked out.  When so many are involved in such a scheme, it’s hard to keep it under wraps.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.


  1. Mr. Parker, Your constant tirades of belittling anyone who holds an opinion different than yours has become quite predictable and tiresome. The only irrational point of this entire situation is the demand that a stadium designed and constructed to last a century be demolished less than 30 years later... and that taxpayers carry the half the burden of this idiocy.

    We all know corporate loyalty no longer exists today; the NFL, MLB, NHL, etc. have all figured out that simply misleading ignorant politicians with threats of relocation to other places works like a charm. Those politicians turn right around and claim the sky is falling, that entire communities will suddenly become bankrupt overnight, and the world as we know it will cease to exist if taxpayers refuse the extortion. Studies have repeatedly proven the so-called 'economic benefit' to be a fallacy, if not outright lies. It has been duly observed and noted that the 'study' mentioned on the city website has yet to publicly materialize.

    If taxpayers are finally wising up, as I fervently hope, they will tell you and the Rangers to go pound sand. Another baseball team can easily be found to replace this one, as I previously mentioned, corporate loyalty no longer exists today. There are dozens of ball teams who would move here with little encouragement. If Major League Baseball wants a retractable roof stadium, then Major League Baseball and its millionaire partners can pay for it. Taxpayers are TAPPED OUT.

  2. Maybe you weren't able to understand the premise of the post. This is an article written by former Mayor Richard Greene, who was instrumental in the building of the current stadium. It tells of the Dallas effort to move the Rangers from Arlington. The naysayers can read it and weep, because the threat of moving the team was very real and not some politician's idea that might happen.

    You are right on one point, there is no corporate loyalty in corporate America. This has been proven by the owner of the St. Louis Rams moving to L.A.. I don't want that to happen in Arlington, and we have moved in a proactive manner to avoid that scenario. You have to understand the constants in the equation. 1. The current stadium will go dark in 2024 or sooner. (the Rangers can buy out their option) 2. The Rangers will play in a domed stadium, either in Arlington or Dallas. Those are the constants. The voters are the variable. I disagree with your assessment that the, "Taxpayers are TAPPED OUT". I personally don't feel the 1/2 cent when I buy something and if you were honest with yourself, you would say the same thing.

    You seem to think that there is a major league baseball team that is willing to relocate to a 30 yr. old stadium. Name one! Name one team that is willing to relocate to a used stadium. As Mayor Rollins stated, "we are not ruling out the possibility of another baseball franchise moving to Dallas." That would be easier than getting a team to relocate to an aging facility.
    Concerning the economic study that you state, "has yet to publicly materialize." If you go the city website there are two economic impact studies located there. Currently a 2006 study and also a 2016 study. We are in the process of loading a 2010 study that supports the other two.

    I will end with the obvious. You can vote Yes and keep the Rangers in Arlington playing in a new domed stadium, or you can vote no, and the Rangers will play in a new domed stadium in Dallas. Either way the Rangers will get what they want, and the current stadium will go dark. That is the decision that the voters have to make. Let me emphasize the word "Voters," not me and certainly not you.

  3. Thank you the courtesy of a reply. I appreciate the opportunity of a conversation with you.

    I must correct two mistakes you have made, however:

    1. St. Louis taxpayers are STILL paying for a stadium, specifically erected to attract the Rams to that city, which the team has already vacated. Big omission. In hindsight, I'm certain St. Louis taxpayers now greatly regret their decision to mortgage such a colossal monument to economic incompetence.

    2. It's "Rawlins"... not "Rollins".

    People buy 'used' houses and 'used' cars all the time. Businesses rent 'used' office space all the time. The Ballpark is not yet thirty years old, yet you claim it is 'used'... as if somehow tainted, rundown, and derelict. Another team WILL take up residence, I guarantee.

    Why do you feel so entitled to spend other people's money? Such a cavalier attitude, "it's only half a cent". The amount in question doesn't really matter, it's that you feel entitled to it. You did not earn it, yet you believe you are more qualified to spend it than the person who earned it.

  4. Let's take the latter first. I think I stated is very clearly. I will not be spending your money. The VOTERS will decide not me. Now name one team that has moved to another city to play in a used stadium. Your "guarantee" is hollow with nothing to support it.
    Every city in the Metroplex has 8 1/4 cent sales tax, except Arlington. We spend our money wisely, and buy revenue generating facilities not subsidized buses. You need to give us some credit. You decide where your tax dollars go not me. So my cavalier attitude is not only because I decide how to spend your money, because I don't. I personally don't feel the 1/2 cent. Do you, Really? So I am not entitled because I don't make the decision. You do!
    The fact that the stadium is used is not the issue. The Stadium will go dark and then you will spend money in demo costs. That is fact. Please accept it. This is reality not a pie in the sky guarantee. It goes dark, fact!

  5. ...and so did you know that 50/50 is NOT what is in the contract?

  6. Ms. Feil normally I wouldn't comment because of the video you posted on You Tube. I know what the contract says and Mr. Davis and the Rangers are responsible for any overruns. Jerry was also responsible for any overruns and he spent an extra $500 million on AT&T Stadium. So that 50/50 deal ran into a 30/70 deal in your favor. Please don't fall for the Dallas propaganda. Did they tell you about the economic impact to our city over the next 37 years of having the Rangers in OUR city and not Dallas. Did you know anything about that. I think that $2 billion plus over the next 30 years is a very good trade off. Don't take the bait Ms. Feil.


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