The proposed $1 billion retractable-roof stadium for the Texas Rangers picked up its first endorsement from a political action committee Thursday when “Vote Yes! Keep the Rangers PAC” announced its campaign.
Vote Yes! squares off against Citizens for a Better Arlington, the only PAC that has publicly challenged the joint city-Rangers plan to build a heat- and storm-resistant stadium that could be in use by the 2021 baseball season, three years before the 30-year lease on Globe Life Park expires in 2024.
The stadium hinges on Arlington voters approving financing for the project in a Nov. 8 election that the City Council plans to call in August.
Campaign manager Brian Mayes said the committee is finding greater early support than did the 2004 election campaign to build what is now AT&T Stadium.
“I think Arlington is just a city that gets things done,” Mayes said. “They don’t sit around and just talk about doing it. They go out and they get the Rangers; they get the Cowboys. They get General Motors.”
Proponents say funding the city’s half of the stadium’s cost wouldn’t raise taxes, because it would use a half-cent sales tax and smaller taxes that are paying down the AT&T Stadium’s debt.
Opponents challenge promises of big economic benefits for the community and contend that the taxes could be better used to improve city services or create a public transit system.
Mayor Jeff Williams is the campaign chairman, and the eight-member City Council serves as the PAC’s Home Run Leadership Team. Honorary chairs include former mayors, Dr. Robert Cluck, Elzie Odom and Richard Greene; and community leaders Victor Vandergriff and Parker Vandergriff.
“This election is the most important in Arlington’s modern history,” Greene said. “The outcome will determine the course of the city’s future.”