In November, Arlington voters will decide whether to spend public money to help build a new ballpark for the Texas Rangers. Thursday night, homeowners in the Stoneridge neighborhood peppered their councilman with questions at a town hall meeting.
"Where is the reward for the Rangers," and "Seems like extortion to me," and "When I look at this whole situation, I call it a boondoggle," were just some of the questions and comments at the town hall meeting.
The November ballot measure would collect up to $500 million in public funding to build a new baseball park.
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Councilman Robert Rivera tried to explain to constituents in the Stoneridge neighborhood the benefits of keeping the Rangers.
"This is about money. It's about a business," Rivera explained. "If the Rangers weren't important to Arlington we wouldn't be deciding the issue in November."
The Rangers have said the team wants a new baseball park with a retractable roof to help deal with the Texas summer heat.
"A retractable roof stadium would do, according to the Rangers, great things for them," explained Rivera. "Otherwise they wouldn't be asking for the stadium."
The proposed deal is a 50/50 split between the city of Arlington and the Texas Rangers. The city would pay a maximum $500 million, as would the Rangers. Any cost overruns would be the Rangers' responsibility.
"We could do a lot with $500 million," said Warren Norred, with "Save Our Stadium." The group opposes spending public money to fund a new ballpark.
"Mr. Rivera said time is of the essence. It is of the essence. They've got to pass it before everybody finds out how bad this deal is," Norred said.
"For some of us this is the third stadium to build," one woman said. "So we are a little tired."