The Texas Rangers will be getting a new retractable roof ballpark thanks to results of voting by Arlington residents.
The Texas Rangers
will be getting a brand new retractable roof ballpark, replacing the 23-season-old Globe Life Park.
Voters in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday approved a measure that provides a half-billion dollars in public funding for the ballpark.
It is anticipated that construction will get underway in 2017, and that the Rangers’ new home could be open in time for the 2020 season.
In unofficial returns, with 132 of 137 precincts reporting, 60 percent of the voters approved a financial package that includes extending a sales tax and a hotel/motel tax to pay as much as $500 million towards a state-of-the-art facility next to the existing Globe Life Park, which opened in 1994.
There was much concern in the Arlington area that had the voters not approved the funding, the Rangers would begin to seriously consider a move to Dallas in the coming years.
Opponents who see the public funding of ballparks as something of a subsidy for wealthy team owners countered that these were simple scare tactics.
Early returns indicate that the funding will pass by something like a 60-40 margin. The new ballpark should guarantee that the Rangers will remain in Arlington for decades to come.
Arlington, Texas is considered part of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex, located roughly 12 miles west of Ft. Worth and 25 miles to the west of the city of Dallas. It is about a half-hour or so drive to Dallas via I-30.
The franchise was established back in 1961 as the Washington Senators. After just over a decade in the American League East Division, the franchise moved southwest to Texas for the 1972 season.
Globe Life Park was opened in 1994 as a replacement for Arlington Stadium, which had served as the team home from 1972 through 1993.
Part of the problem with Globe Life Park, which frankly should have been known from the time it opened, is that it is a completely open-air park. The average high temperatures in Arlington in June, July and August are 91, 95, and 96 degrees.
The franchise is owned by energy industry businessmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. The Rangers remain one of only eight teams to never win a World Series.
Texas came within one strike of winning it all on two different occasions in Game Six of the 2011 World Series before eventually losing to the St. Louis Cardinals.