Texas Rangers, developer to break ground on Texas Live! next week

With the Texas Rangers out of the playoffs faster than fans hoped, groundbreaking on the $250 million Texas Live! entertainment and hotel complex across from Globe Life Park in Arlington has been moved up from November to next week, the Rangers and developer Cordish Cos. announced Thursday.

“We were obviously hoping that a few more October games would delay this for a little longer,” Rob Matwick, Rangers executive vice president for business operation, said in a statement.

The $100 million first phase includes 200,000 square feet of dining and entertainment venues, an outdoor event pavilion with a capacity of 5,000 people, a 300-room high-rise hotel and 35,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.

Cordish and the Rangers say Texas Live! will open in 2018 — the dining and entertainment portions on Opening Day in the spring and the hotel/convention part that fall. The two-story complex will be built on 7 acres.

The Rangers rumbled into the playoffs with the best record in the American League this season and home-field advantage through the World Series. But they were swept by the Toronto Blue Jays in the best-of-five divisional series this month.

Mayor Jeff Williams told the Star-Telegram that the start of the long-awaited development around the ballpark and AT&T Stadium is an exciting way to move on. “This signals the first development between these two stadiums. And it will be a world-class entertainment complex and upscale hotel that our citizens have been longing for.”

Texas Live! would be adjacent to the proposed $1 billion retractable-roof stadium for the Rangers if voters approve public funding for the city’s $500 million share on Nov. 8.

When the groundbreaking was postponed in May, it prompted speculation that a defeat of the stadium proposal would halt the Texas Live! project. But Williams reiterated what a Cordish official insisted last month: “It’s a great location whether the Rangers stay in Arlington or not.”

Texas Live! is a 50-50 partnership between the Rangers and Cordish. The Arlington City Council approved $50 million in an incentive grant, with the money coming from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, for the project in December. Williams said that is part of a separate arrangement between the city and the Rangers.

Cordish has built similar entertainment complexes near stadiums around the country. It says Texas Live! will most closely resemble Ballpark Village, located across from Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Robert Cadwallader: 817-390-7186, @Kaddmann_ST