TODAY: Further details of the ballpark plans have emerged, with MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (all links to Twitter) and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link) were among those to report. The plans call for a $1B facility that would be ready for play by at least 2021, with a lease running through 2054. Team and city plan to split that fee equally, with an “extension” of a current tax used for the public funding. In terms of politics, city council approval will be sought on May 24th, with a public election on November 8th also needed to finalize the deal.
YESTERDAY: The Rangers and the City of Arlington are set to announce plans for a new ballpark, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. According to the report, a retractable roof facility is expected to replace what’s currently known as Globe Life Park in Arlington before the lease on that stadium is set to expire after the 2023 campaign.
As Grant explains, the timing of the agreement is tied to efforts from other localities to woo the ballclub, with Dallas representing a particularly appealing possibility. Instead, Arlington will keep the organization by facilitating a new building ahead of the lease expiration, which was a perk that only that city could offer.
While Globe Life is among the dozen oldest stadiums in the majors, it’s only been around since 1994. It opened then to great fanfare, as it — along with what’s now known as Progressive Field, in Cleveland — joined Oriole Park at Camden Yards as retro-styled stadiums with modern amenities. The successes of those parks spurred a round of new construction that has shown little sign of abating.
With the move, the Rangers will join at least the Braves and Diamondbacks as teams in some stage of the ballpark procurement process. Atlanta is set to replace the even-younger Turner Field next year, while Arizona hopes to move out of Chase Field (which came on line in 1998) in the coming seasons. Other organizations, most notably the Rays and A’s, are still navigating complicated paths toward their own replacement parks, with the possibility of alternative locations still looming.
Financing and formal legal approval remain barriers, Grant notes, with an election likely necessary to move the project forward. The city has already approved a sizeable entertainment and hotel project next to Globe Life, which is expected to come on line in the coming years. It’s not apparent whether that undertaking will be impacted. Neither does it appear to be known whether there is an established location for the proposed new ballpark.
Playable weather isn’t hard to come by in Texas, but Grant explains that the retractable roof will allow the club to manage the blistering summer sun. That will, in theory, allow the organization to boost is attendance. Of course, new facilities also tend to allow teams to cash in through other avenues, though that often comes at the expense of taxpayers (as well as paying patrons).
While it’s far too soon to know what kind of impact this move may have on the Rangers’ bottom line, suffice to say that such plans usually redound to the team’s benefit. The Texas organization already runs out one of the league’s more robust payrolls, and it seems reasonable to expect that these plans will aid the club as it competes for top-level talent with other big-market organizations.