The debut this week of Arlington's plans for a massive entertainment complex to be built around a proposed new baseball stadium is not sitting sitting well with everyone.
"Texas Live!" is not the issue. It's how that facility could be influencing voting on the new stadium.
We know baseball is big business. That’s why keeping the Rangers in Arlington would be a home run.
But not everyone thinks the current plan is the way to do it.
“This deal is a bad deal,” said Warren Norred.
Norred is an attorney and part of the group “Citizens for a Better Arlington.”
He believes the announcement earlier this week that Globe Life Park would be partially repurposed as part of an entertainment venue called Texas Live! is a campaign ploy to get voters to cast a ballot for a new stadium.
“When Mayor Williams says it is not going to be bulldozed, he doesn’t have the power or authority to say that. This says that it’s all according to the team,” Norred said.
He is referring to the current agreement between the Rangers and the city. Norred also feels Arlington should negotiate a better deal with the Rangers since the team still has eight years on it’s contract.
“They cannot leave for eight years. So this vote is not about whether or not the Rangers are going to leave. This vote is about whether or not this particular deal is good or whether we should reject it and say try again,” explained Norred.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams says this is a good deal at the right time. “Our citizens get it. It is the amazing response we’ve had in fact we’ve been endorsed by almost every organization in town, our leadership across the board has been for this,” he said.
That includes all of the city council.
As for the stadium demolition clause, Mayor Williams says the Rangers have publicly pledged to keep Globe Life Park. “Mr. Ray Davis the general partner of the Texas Rangers announced to all the media here in Dallas Ft. Worth ad beyond that that ballpark is still going to be standing and it will be repurposed. And that is a very exciting thing for our community.”
The political action committee “Vote Yes, Keep the Rangers” sent a statement to NBC 5 which reads:
“The very small opposition group is led in part by people from outside our city who are more interested in cheap political theater than doing what is right for Arlington. We are proud that our citizens see through their misleading information and desperate attacks and are instead rallying around a brighter future for Arlington. The fact is there is overwhelming support for keeping the Rangers with no new taxes.”
Arlington will vote on a new baseball stadium in November.
The cost of the $1 billion facility would would be split between the city and the Rangers.
It would be built just south of the existing stadium and be operational by 2021.