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New ballpark approved for Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers can push ahead with development of a new ballpark after voters in Arlington approved continuation of a hotel tax to pay for the city’s share in it.

It is anticipated the US$1 billion retractable roof ballpark will be opened by the Major League Baseball team in 2020.

Residents of Arlington, Texas, voted for the continuation of a half-cent sales and hotel/motel tax that will fund the city’s $500 million share of the venue.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said:

This is a great day for Arlington and a great day for Tarrant County. We are very excited about the future of Arlington and the Texas Rangers. This will make a difference for all of our citizens.

The Texas Rangers will raise their $500 million share to build the facility with a tax on tickets and parking.

The new ballpark will feature a retractable roof that will allow climate-controlled air conditioning and will be built just to the south of Globe Life Park across Randol Mill Road.

Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis said:

This means a lot for our fans. Long term, it means our fans can enjoy climate control without getting burned up and we can recruit more free agents. Our fan base has changed as millennials have come along and we compete with people watching on television. This will create an environment they can enjoy every day.

The new facility will be built along with Texas Live!, the new entertainment complex that began construction immediately after the season. The Rangers’ plan is to incorporate Globe Life Park into Texas Live! without completely demolishing it.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said:

It’s incredible. A lot of hard work has been done by a lot of people who believe in the Texas Rangers and want to keep baseball in Arlington. I’m happy for all of those people, their hard work has paid off.

Rob Matwick, the Rangers’ vice president for ballpark operations, said the next step will be to select an architect and then a general contractor to oversee the construction.

The plan would be to spend 2017 designing the new ballpark, and then construction would proceed in 2018-19. Two years is the normal allotted time for the construction of a new ballpark, which puts the Rangers on target for moving into their new facility by Opening Day in 2020.

Matwick said the Rangers still intend to maintain their current facility, which opened in 1994 as the Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers have spent more than $50 million the past six years in upgrades and renovations to Globe Life Park.

Matwick added:

We still have to play baseball. We may not do any big projects, but we will still maintain the ballpark.

Image Courtesy Texas Rangers