With the new Rangers ballpark construction soon to be underway, Arlington residents can expect great things for the city’s economy.
Construction is expected to start this summer on the climate controlled stadium, which is being built as a public-private partnership between the City of Arlington and the Texas Rangers. The ballpark is expected to open just south of Globe Life Park in Arlington in time for the start of the Texas Rangers’ 2020 season and the Rangers’ partnership with Arlington is extended through January 1, 2054.
“The Texas Rangers are part of the fabric of our community, drawing valuable visitors and tourists to Arlington and millions of dollars in spending for local stores, shops and restaurants,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said. “With a new ballpark featuring a retractable roof and air conditioning to protect our fans from the summer heat, we can continue to attract visitors to our city and grow our economy for another 30 years.”
Over the term of the new lease, operations of the future ballpark and visitor spending is projected to result in $77.5 million a year in economic impact for Arlington and $137.6 million a year for Tarrant County, according
to an HR&A Advisors study commissioned by the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Sixty percent of voters approved November 8, 2016, to help publicly finance the project by extending existing venue taxes approved in 2004 to build AT&T Stadium. These taxes – a halfcent sales tax, a 5 percent car rental tax and a 2 percent hotel occupancy tax – will help pay off the City’s contribution to the ballpark project.
While designs and costs have not been finalized, the new ballpark and related infrastructure are 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.
The new ballpark will be more than just the Texas Rangers’ new home when it opens. The stadium, designed by
nationally renowned sports and entertainment design firm HKS, Inc., will also serve as a multipurpose sports and entertainment venue capable of hosting high school, college and international sports, and other special events.
The design of the new stadium, which will be built on what is now a team parking lot, is expected to have similar features as Globe Life Park and will also include office space for the team.
The future ballpark isn’t the only new entertainment destination for residents and visitors in The
American Dream City. It is being designed and built along with a world-class entertainment complex called Texas Live!
Q & A with Michael Jacobson, Arlington Chamber of Commerce President and CEO
The City of Arlington’s Office of Communication recently sat down with Arlington Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Michael Jacobson to talk about the excitement surrounding the new Rangers ballpark and the economic impact the project and Texas Live! will have on the entire community.
“Sports facilities, like Globe Life Park in Arlington and AT&T Stadium, have been great financially for our city, bringing in millions of dollars of revenue from visitors and tourists,” Jacobson said. “The new Rangers ballpark and Texas Live! entertainment complex will create thousands of new jobs and millions of new visitors for Arlington. They will only add to the revenue the local economy receives from outside our city. This revenue has helped our families enjoy the lowest sales tax rate and one of the lowest property tax rates in North Texas.”
WHY WAS THERE A NEED FOR A NEW RANGERS BALLPARK?
The Rangers had made a decision as they looked out to the future that having a climate controlled ballpark mattered. It wasn’t about 2024 or 2025. It was 2040. What’s going to be necessary for us because they were making a long-term decision, a decision that would go out to 2054. It was clear to them they needed to provide that sort of entertainment to be able to attract fans not only now but well into the future.
HOW MUCH OF A TOURISM DRIVER IS ARLINGTON’S ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT?
It’s one of the magnets of tourism in Texas. Over fourteen and a half million people come to the Entertainment District every year and the goal is to grow that. There’s no reason why we can’t double that number.
WHAT IS THE PROJECTED ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE NEW BALLPARK AND TEXAS LIVE?
When you put both of them together, you are getting close to $200 million a year in economic impact. Texas Live! alone, if you take their salaries over a period of years, you are talking about $2 billion worth of salaries. The economic impact is huge. That, by the way, is being very conservative in how you model it.
HOW MANY JOBS WILL THIS CREATE IN ARLINGTON, BOTH IN OPERATIONS AND CONSTRUCTION?
You’ll see a couple thousand construction jobs when you look at Texas Live! and the new ballpark. With Texas Live!, over 1,000 permanent jobs. The Rangers are already a major employer with almost 1,000 jobs in Arlington. The great news is with this new ballpark it becomes a year-round attraction. It won’t go cold during the winter. It will actually be up and going with another opportunity to invite in entertainment acts and whatever else.
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT OF HAVING A CLIMATE-CONTROLLED, RETRACTABLE ROOF BALLPARK OPEN AS AN ENTERTAINMENT VENUE FOR MORE THAN JUST RANGERS’ HOME GAMES?
That’s critical, definitely for all the businesses that benefit from the ballpark being there. When it moves to 365 days a year and you are bringing in large entertainment acts…you have to have people there in the stadium working and supporting all those fans that are coming in. Those fans need to go eat and need to be entertained. The more people you see on regular basis – that is what really triggers the dynamic change. It’s critically important. I am so confident you are going to see a downtown and Entertainment District that looks completely different five years from now.
YOU CALLED THE BALLPARK, TEXAS LIVE! AND AT&T STADIUM A BEACON OF ARLINGTON’S CAN-DO ATTITUDE. WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG DREAM THE CITY SHOULD PURSUE FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT?
For us to fully benefit from the Entertainment District, we have to make sure we have hotel rooms. Having the luxury hotel at Texas Live! is going to be critically important. When teams come in to play, we want them to stay here. When their fans come in, you want them to stay here. We do have great hotels in Arlington but we need more. We do need a high-end luxury hotel.
HOW WILL KEEPING THE RANGERS IN ARLINGTON IMPACT THE ENTIRE BUSINESS COMMUNITY?
We couldn’t be more thrilled that we have city leadership that is proactive. They went to one of the major businesses here in Arlington and said ‘What do you need to be successful not just today but for the next 40 years?’ Yes it’s the Rangers, but they are an economic engine. When you do that for the Rangers, you are actually doing it for all the business community and the city and everyone else that was involved in the campaign to keep the Rangers here and build this new ballpark. We couldn’t be more thrilled.
Source: Schrock, Susan. “Field of Dreams: A Ballpark Overview.” Texas Rangers Magazine. April 20-30, 2017. Pages 46, 47.
Image Source: Texas Rangers – MLB.com
Published on 2017-05-24 19:16:35