Fans in section 343 of Globe Life Park won't have to leave their seats to peer down at the Globe Life Field construction project, which is currently just a giant hole south of the current stadium.
"It's a great place to go up and look," said Rob Matwick, the Rangers executive vice president of business operations. "It's a great vantage point."
Matwick briefed the Arlington City Council last week on the progress of the project so far. The team has ordered 32,000 tons of structural steel — 14,000 for the stadium bowl and 18,000 for the retractable roof — all from U.S. companies. The bowl will start rising from the ground during the season, and the retractable roof is scheduled to be completed by October 2019.
The excavation for the new stadium is "winding down," Matwick said, and the constant parade of trucks heading up North Collins Street to the city landfill will soon end.
The city has also taken steps to meet its obligation to pay nearly half of the new stadium's cost. On March 7, the city sold $465.4 million in bonds for the new ballpark, which is scheduled to open for the 2020 season. Voters approved the city's share of the new stadium in November 2016.
"It is fully funded at what our contract requires us to do," City Manager Trey Yelverton said of the bond sale.
The city was able to issue some of the bonds at a premium, which made up for the roughly $35 million difference. An investor pays a premium to receive a higher interest rate.
"You can actually do less through these financing mechanisms," Yelverton said.
The Rangers’ lease on Globe Life Field, set to open in 2020, will run through 2054. The city's portion of the debt will be repaid with revenue generated through a half-cent sales tax, a 2 percent hotel occupancy tax and a 5 percent vehicle rental tax. Arlington will also receive $2 million a year in rent for the ballpark paid by the Rangers.
Matwick called the results of bond sales "huge."
"The city has been a tremendous partner throughout the process," he said. "There was no question that the city would meet that obligation. In fact, the markets responded very favorably to the bonds that they issued."
Also last week, the Rangers and The Cordish Cos. announced that Jim Waltry will be the chief operating officer for Texas Live!, the $250 million dining and entertainment complex being built adjacent to Globe Life Field. Waltry previously served in the same role at Ballpark Village, the St. Louis Cardinals' version of Texas Live.