Globe Life Park, the home of the Texas Rangers, is just 22 years old. But the team will be getting a new home after a ballot measure aimed at raising funding for a ballpark was approved Tuesday night.
Lost in the shadow of the presidential election, the ballot measure in Texas won approval by a 60 percent to 40 percent vote. The final tally was 69,939 votes for and 46,621 votes against. The measure calls for the city to issue $500 million in bonds to help pay for the stadium. A half-cent of sales tax, 2 percent hotel occupancy tax and 5 percent car rental tax would pay off those bonds over an estimated 30 years. Voters also approved a ticket tax of up to 10 percent and parking tax of up to $3 at the new stadium.
Although the Rangers had not threatened to leave Arlington, or the state for that matter, the passage of the measure ensures the franchise will remain in Arlington through the 2053 season.
“It’s a phenomenal thing how so many generations now have grown up going to the Texas Rangers here in Arlington,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams told reporters, according to The Dallas Morning News. “And now we have an opportunity for us to say that we want the Rangers to be here for our kids and grandkids. . . . It is a historic time in which all of our leaders have come together here to work hard to ensure that we kept the Rangers now.”
In a statement, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the new ballpark will provide year-round benefits.
“A new ballpark will be a great benefit for our fans and our players. It will provide us with a state-of-the art year-round training facility that will be the best in Major League Baseball and will assist us in the quest to bring a World Championship to this great city,” the statement read. “This is a very exciting time for the City of Arlington and the Rangers organization.”
The new ballpark will be built in a parking lot just south of Globe Life Park, and will be adjacent to Texas Live!, an entertainment complex and hotel that will be partially owned by the Rangers. The ballpark could open as early as 2020, according to reports. Globe Life Park—which opened in April 1994—will remain in use, even after the new park opens, and could be used as office space, or park and festival space.
Globe Life Park, which holds 48,114 fans, cost about $189 million, with the city paying $135 million of that expense. The new park, expected to hold 42,000 fans, could cost five times that.