The Texas Rangers have thanked Arlington residents who approved taxpayer funding for a planned $1 billion retractable-roof stadium to keep the team in the city where it's been for more than 40 years
A team statement Wednesday thanked Arlington, its residents, and all of the fans who attend games annually "for choosing to keep the Rangers in Arlington." The Rangers had held preliminary talks about possibly building the covered stadium in Dallas, in case Arlington voters nixed the plan.
Voters in Arlington, on Tuesday approved the extension of a half-cent sales tax, 2 percent hotel-occupancy tax and 5 percent car-rental tax for a new venue for the American League team. That revenue now goes to defraying Arlington's $155 million debt on its share of the cost of the NFL Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, which opened in 2009.
The vote also allows a 10 percent admission tax and a $3 parking tax for the Rangers' use -- the same deal reached for the Cowboys.
Although the Rangers hadn't publicly threatened to leave, a team representative held preliminary talks with Dallas officials about a covered stadium there.
Those who fought against the new Rangers stadium are disappointed with the results, and knew they had lost as soon as the early voting results were released.
“We knew early turnout was big, and if either side had a big lead, we knew it was going to be a pretty quick decision you know,” said Andy Prior, with Citizens for a Better Arlington.
Early results showed those Arlington voters favored the new stadium 60 percent to 40 percent.
“We would have had to have gotten 100 percent of votes cast today just to break even and that didn’t happen,” said Faith Bussey, President of Citizens for a Better Arlington.
“It’s very disappointing, but what else can you do,” said CBA’s Warren Norred. "You have to put it all in context. This is not the end of the world, it’s a half cent sales tax, its $30 million out the city that we could be spending on something worse.”