The Texas Rangers may continue to call Arlington home until 2054: the Arlington City Council has unanimously approved a deal for a $1 billion retractable roof stadium, according to an article from The Dallas Morning News.
The article states that, after months of negotiation behind closed doors, the city revealed its plans for this agreement on Tuesday. The decision will lead to a public vote on November 8. Until that time, voters will need to be persuaded to spend $500 million to keep the Rangers in Arlington. The city of Dallas has made efforts to convince the Rangers to relocate to Dallas.
A Fort Worth Business article details the new private-public partnership: the Rangers have pledged $500 million and any costs that exceed the estimated $1 billion cost for the project. Arlington voters will vote on whether or not “to extend a half-cent sales tax that was approved to help finance Cowboys Stadium and $500 million [for] construction of the new stadium,” according to the article.
The stadium, which would feature a retractable roof and air conditioning, would replace Globe Life Park, the Fort Worth Business article states. Voters approved a half-cent sales tax in 1991 to help pay for the current stadium which, although only 23 years old, lacks climate control and a retractable roof. The absence of these features has reportedly prevented the stadium from adequately meeting the needs of fans, players, and visitors.
While critics have questioned the need for a new stadium and the process of negotiating the deal, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams is optimistic that the deal will receive voters’ approval in November, stating “This is going to pass, it is too great of a deal for the Rangers and Arlington, and it will pass in November.” Rangers co-owner Ray Davis hopes the new stadium to be functioning by 2021.
The new stadium will still be located “within the Rangers complex, south of Randol Mill Road, on the site of two current parking lots,” the article states, obviating criticism that the project would disrupt a different part of the city. While there are plans for the Rangers to retain part of the current stadium, there is the possibility for the construction of additional facilities and even the extension of an entertainment and hotel complex project known as Texas Live!