The Rangers and City of Arlington announced plans Friday for a new $1 billion retractable-roof stadium and a partnership that extends to 2054.
"The Texas Rangers have chosen to stay in Arlington, Texas," said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. "Isn't that awesome?"
The stadium would feature a retractable roof. Rangers co-owner and co-chairman Ray Davis said adding a roof on to Globe Life Park would be too expensive and leave the Rangers with nowhere to play while construction is under way.
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Davis pointed out the new ballpark will be better for the fans, eliminating the threat of inclement weather and keeping games on schedule. Players would also be able to workout year-round, making it easier for the team to attract free agents as well as concerts and events like the MLB All-Star Game.
"We see a new ballpark as the next step to create a world-class entertainment district in Arlington," said Rangers co-owner and co-chairman Ray Davis.
The proposed new stadium would sit where Lots A and B are currently located, adjacent to Texas Live! Construction on the mixed-use dining, entertainment, hotel and convention facility begins next month.
The Rangers plan to be playing in the new facility no later than the 2021 season. The seating capacity will be smaller than current Globe Life Park at about 42,000 to 44,000.
The potential agreement would extend Arlington's partnership with the Texas Rangers through 2054.
"This agreement was spurred by our citizens who overwhelmingly told our city council 'we want to keep the Rangers, we love them, we want them here in Arlington for generations to come,'" said Williams, who pointed to the Rangers being one of Arlington's strongest economic engines.
The $1 billion project would be split 50/50 between the Rangers and the city of Arlington and voters need to approve it first. Not everyone is ready to sign on for $500 million dollars in taxpayer money.
"As a homeowner of Arlington and a business owner, taxes are going to go up," said taxpayer Reginald Singh.
NBC 5 caught up with him while he was getting a haircut at Legendz Classic Barbershop in downtown Arlington. Singh and his barber had other priorities for where they want their tax money spent.
"Schools is number one," said Singh.
"Public transportation could possibly be a good thing because the parking, all the traffic that’s around here, we have a hard time getting out of work just because there's a game or something," added barber Josh Ibanez.
Mayor Williams says the city is already talking about adding public transit and that the new ballpark is expected to generate $2.53 billion for the city of Arlington over 40 years – money they could put back into transit and other infrastructure projects.
"We can spend and put a dollar into repairing the road, or we can invest that dollar and turn it into $5 or $6 and then have more money to fix roads and to build schools," said Williams.
Davis said the retractable roof is the key to bringing more fans out all season long, and Charley Casillas, of 601 Tickets, agrees.
Their business suffers when ticket sales fall off in the dog days of summer, so he's all for a new ball park.
"As long as they put a dome stadium so we can start filling up the seats, filling up the stadium every game, instead of partial games," said Casillas. "When it's too hot people are like, 'No I'm not going.'"
Some Globe Life Park stadium workers say a roof would be a big improvement, eliminating late nights caused by rain delays.
"Just a couple weeks ago, we were here until almost two in the morning just because they kept having rain delays and stuff," said food vendor Lisa Silva.
The Arlington City Council will discuss the terms of the agreement on May 24. With council approval, the city and the team will execute a commitment to a master agreement to a franchise extension.
The agreement will then be sent to the state comptroller for approval.
The city council will then call an election for a public vote on the agreement on Nov. 8.
Williams said there would not be a new additional tax, instead there would be an extension of the half penny sales tax that is currently being used to pay for AT&T Stadium.
Williams said the Rangers have had a $77.5 million impact on the City of Arlington and the future stadium plan would have a $2.53 billion impact on the city.