ARLINGTON CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP WITH TEXAS RANGERS FOR NEW BALLPARK
The Arlington City Council unanimously approved a master agreement Tuesday that outlines a public-private partnership with the Texas Rangers for possible construction of a new retractable-roof ballpark and supporting development in the Entertainment District.
With approval of the master agreement, the City of Arlington will begin the steps required to hold an election November 8. Arlington voters would be asked whether to extend the existing venue taxes approved in 2004 to build AT&T Stadium – a half-cent sales tax, 5 percent car rental tax and 2 percent hotel occupancy tax, to help publically finance a new ballpark for the Rangers as well.
While designs and costs have not been finalized, a new ballpark and related infrastructure is estimated at $1 billion. The master agreement for this public-private partnership calls for a 50-50 split between the Texas Rangers and the City of Arlington, with the City’s financial contribution capped at $500 million. If approved by voters, the City’s ballpark bonds would be repaid by the venue taxes and $2 million annual rent paid by the team.
The Texas Rangers’ 30-year lease on the City-owned Globe Life Park in Arlington is set to end in 2024. With the new master agreement, the Rangers’ partnership with Arlington would extend until January 1, 2054.
“This proactive effort will keep the Texas Rangers in Arlington, which is something our citizens have overwhelmingly told our City Council they want,” Mayor Jeff Williams said. “We love the Rangers and we want them here in Arlington for generations to come.”
Next, the resolution designating the venue project will be forwarded to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, who will examine the state’s fiscal impact. The Council is then expected to vote in August to call for a November 8 election on the proposed methods of financing.
The design for a new ballpark, expected to seat a minimum of 38,000, would include a retractable roof for climate control and shelter for fans during the hot summer months. The new stadium, which would be built on what is now a team parking lot south of Randol Mill Road, is expected to have similar design concepts featured in Globe Life Park and would also include office space for the team.
Besides being a long-standing part of Arlington’s history, the Texas Rangers also provide the city and county with an important economic boost, Williams said.
The Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau commissioned an independent consulting group to provide an analysis of the economic impact of the Texas Rangers franchise on Arlington. HR&A Advisors found that the annual economic impact of the Rangers in a new ballpark would be $77.5 million for Arlington and $137.6 million for Tarrant County. According to HR&A’s analysis, the net present value of the Rangers continued presence between 2016-2054 with a new ballpark would be $2.53 billion for Arlington and $4.49 billion for Tarrant County.
The City and the Rangers are discussing the future of the 23-year-old Globe Life Park in Arlington, with options including office development, park space, parking and a possible extension to the Texas Live! project.
Office of Communication, City of Arlington