Editorials

It’s party time in Arlington as voters approve stadium

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Fireworks explode over Globe Life Park before Game 4 of the 2010 World Series.
Fireworks explode over Globe Life Park before Game 4 of the 2010 World Series. Star-Telegram archives

It’s time to celebrate in Arlington!

Forget all the reports, assurances, rumors and speculation that Dallas or Frisco will steal the Texas Rangers baseball team away from the place it has called home since 1971.

That’s not going to happen.

Arlington voters slammed the door on any possible departure Tuesday by agreeing to help the team build a $1 billion, retractable-roof, climate-controlled new stadium.

In fact, Rangers fans across Tarrant County and everywhere else should join the celebration.

As soon as the new stadium is built — team owners say they plan for the Rangers to be playing in the new facility by the 2021 season — fans won’t have to sit in the scorching August sun or endure 100-plus-degree temperatures or sit through rain delays to see their favorite team play.

The deal means the Rangers will be in Arlington at least long enough to celebrate their 80th anniversary there in 2051.

It won’t be cheap.

Voters approved $500 million in subsidies from a half-cent sales tax, 5 percent car rental tax and 2 percent hotel occupancy tax to pay half the cost of building the new stadium just south of Globe Life Park.

But backers of the ballot proposition approving the deal convinced the majority of voters that the actual cost to local residents will be much less.

The taxes to support the stadium construction are paid primarily by the 2.4 million visitors who come to town each year, including fans who come for Rangers games.

Approval of the stadium construction also spotlights the adjacent $250 million Texas Live! entertainment/hotel/convention complex next door.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for Texas Live! were held last month. It’s a 50-50 partnership between the Rangers and The Cordish Companies, developer of similar complexes near stadiums in other cities.

There’s reason to hope that Texas Live! itself could have almost as much impact on Arlington as keeping the Rangers.

The complex kick-starts long-held aspirations of city leaders for a wide range of entertainment venues surrounding the Rangers’ ballpark and AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The new stadium’s retractable roof and climate controls also mean it can host sporting events, concerts, conventions and other large gatherings 365 days a year — just like AT&T Stadium. That could bring even more visitors.

Be happy, Arlington. The future is bright.

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