With eight years left on the Texas Rangers' lease at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Dallas boosters are considering possible locations for a downtown Dallas retractable roof stadium to lure the team away.
"It's come up again, and there's probably five or six different locations that it could happen that are serious locations for that kind of development," said John Crawford, with the business group Downtown Dallas Inc.
Locations mentioned by various sources include a former Reunion Arena parking lot owned by the city of Dallas beside the Dallas Convention Center surrounded by downtown freeways currently receiving expansion.
The parking lot is close to Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail and Trinity Rail Express passenger service which are not available at the Arlington stadium.
Crawford said 130,000 downtown workers and 45,000 full-time downtown residents would also be adjacent to a downtown ballpark.
"You would see more people focusing in on this area to attend the Rangers than where it is now," Crawford said.
Another site mentioned is a Dallas City Service Center on Canton Street in Deep Ellum near Interstate 30. Several small city buildings and vehicle maintenance operations would have to relocate to make way for a stadium on the site. Several private developments are underway nearby in Deep Ellum, including a 17-story residential high rise under construction two blocks away.
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Conner Farrall, who works at the Deep Ellum Postal and Grocery business across Main Street from the construction site, said baseball would be good for the area.
"It would bring a ton of people," he said. "It would be very positive and that's what we need around here is more people."
Crawford said another possible location is an abandoned state jail on Commerce Street near the Trinity River, along with large parking lots around it on Riverfront Boulevard.
"I think it's a horrible idea," said Rangers fan Camille Rodriquez.
Rodriquez, who was shopping at the Globe Life Park fan shop Monday, said she prefers the current Arlington location.
"I live in Fort Worth. If they were in Dallas, I wouldn't go," she said. "It's just too far."
Dallas has tried to lure the Rangers away from Arlington before and failed. Crawford said he is reluctant to try again unless the team indicates it is interested in moving.
"We kind of think maybe the timing could be right for the Rangers to take a look at this, seriously take a look at it," he said.
In response to a request for comment, Rangers team spokesman John Blake provided the following statement by email:
"The Rangers lease at Globe Life Park in Arlington runs through the 2023 season. The franchise has had a long and productive partnership in Arlington and at present, this issue is not our focus. We want to build on our success from 2015, both on and off the field."
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings released the following statement Monday:
"The Texas Rangers have a long-term deal that keeps them in their beautiful stadium for several more years. Arlington has been a great home for them. At this time, no specific locations in Dallas are being seriously considered for construction of a Major League Baseball stadium."
Dallas City Hall currently has many other big pressing needs, including nearly $1 billion in street repair needs and perhaps $3 billion in unfunded police and fire pension liability. A retractable roof baseball stadium could cost $1 billion, and Crawford, with Downtown Dallas Inc., agreed the city should never be expected to pay such a price alone.
"We can't do everything," Crawford said. "We've got to make a decision about where we want to place our money to get the best return on our investment."
Arlington city leaders have said they will fight any effort to lure the Rangers away.
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