Give the city of Arlington credit for protecting their original major pro sports team and making a deal with the Rangers to build a new stadium with a retractable roof. The cost reportedly is $900 million.
My sources told me late Thursday night a new stadium could be ready for the Rangers by the 2019 or 2020 season and will be built next to AT&T Stadium.
I know some people have always wanted the city of Dallas to take the Rangers away from Arlington and build a stadium downtown. I believe former Rangers owner Tom Hicks would have liked to relocate the club, but his financial issues ended his reign as owner.
The current Rangers owners already have for plans for Rangers Live (a project will include 100,000 square feet of restaurant, bar and retail space, 35,000-square-feet of convention space and plans for a 300-bed, high-rise luxury hotel to be built directly across from Globe Life Park) so it makes perfect sense to build a new stadium and take advantage of all the infrastructure that has already been built around the current stadiums for the Rangers and Cowboys.
Back in November of 2013 the Braves shocked Atlanta city officials by announcing plans to leave their home stadium Turner Field for a new stadium outside of Fulton County in neighboring Cobb County. The Braves will move into their new digs next year. You better believe Arlington was taking notes.
Per a Star-Telegram report, Arlington mayor Jeff Williams told a group at a Fort Worth civic event, "The Rangers don't want to leave, but there are other cities, and we know one that starts with a D that wants to take it. … Right now is a key time for us."
Globe Life Park is the 11th oldest stadium in Major League Baseball. Eighteen clubs in MLB have facilities that were built since the Rangers opened The Ballpark In Arlington in 1994. The following have a retractable-roof stadium in MLB: Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks; Marlins Park, Miami Marlins; Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers; Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros; Rogers Centre, Toronto Blue Jays; and Safeco Field, Seattle Mariners. Tropicana Field is where the Rays play, but it is does not have a retractable roof and the club is currently looking for a new stadium.
The thought of going to Rangers games in June, July and August without the heat beating down on me is great. Fans have wanted a retractable roof for years and soon it will be a possibility. A Friday press conference should give us all the details need about what should be welcome news for baseball fans in North Texas.