The City of Arlington announced this afternoon its plan to build a new Texas Rangers ball park. The new venue would have a retractable roof and air conditioning and cost about a billion dollars.
Texas Rangers co-owner Ray Davis has long memories of hot days watching the Rangers. He used to pony up six bucks for bleacher seats at the old ball park, and sit out in the blazing summer heat to take in a game.
“That’s the way baseball ought to be played,” Davis said. “But frankly, we’re in North Texas and it’s hard to do that.”
These days, Davis says a lot of fans don’t want to suffer the heat, so climate control is key. It’d be too expensive to just add a roof to the 22-year-old Globe Life Park. Plus, he says a new stadium will allow for more up-to-date technology to enhance the fan experience. Ultimately, Davis says more butts in seats means a stronger Texas Rangers.
“Being able to have a higher average attendance especially through the dog days of summer, raises our revenues, allows us to have more money to spend on players and free agents,” Davis said.
The Rangers’ current lease doesn’t expire for another eight years, but Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams says the city started talking to the franchise early in order to keep the team in town. entertainment district.
“This agreement was spurred by our citizens who overwhelmingly told our city council that we want to keep the Rangers. We love them, we want them here in Arlington for generations to come.”
The new stadium would be across the street from Globe Life Park, in the same neighborhood of the planned Texas Live.
In November, Arlington voters will be asked to weigh in on using city funds to pay half of the billion-dollar price tag. Those funds come from existing sales taxes that are used to help pay for the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T stadium. Williams says it won’t raise taxes, so he doesn’t think it’ll be a hard sell.
“Our families and business leaders understand that the Rangers have been one of Arlington’s economic engines,” he said.
The Rangers could be playing in their new stadium by 2021. This evening, they’ll will face off with the Astros in Houston, in a park with a retractable roof and air conditioning.