Kiss it goodbye?
Major League Baseball left Fort Worth in 1964 with the Chicago Cubs’ last practice game here and will be gone from Arlington if voters don’t help build a domed stadium.
Of all the lies in an election filled with them, the biggest lie of all is the name of an Arlington group: “Save Our Stadium.”
Baseball is not going to be “saved” in today’s ballpark.
Texas Rangers partners and executives have said consistently they are interested in a domed stadium. They have studied it for nearly 10 years.
Frisco or Dallas could easily come up with a plan.
When Arlington made its offer to Rangers Chairman Ray Davis, Davis said the team already “had other calls.”
Last year, a Dallas city spokeswoman told D Magazine what those calls might have been about: “They have a stadium that’s not covered, and the fans are really hot. So they’re looking for a covered stadium.”
The fans are really hot. So they’re looking for a covered stadium.
Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed in 2016 on conversations with the Rangers
First city with a proposal wins.
“Save Our Stadium” opposes changing ballparks and spending public money for a new one.
But that first decision is up to the Rangers. And this deal is the best Arlington could do.
Frisco leaders have shown they will use economic incentives to build tremendous facilities without a public vote.
Sure, Arlington voters remember how Dallas County basically forfeited the Cowboys by declining to help build a stadium.
But since then, Dallas has built a grand downtown city park with $100 million in public and private financing, and plans a $90 million expansion. The city also added $300 million in “signature” bridges in an $800 million Trinity River revamp.
Dallas doesn’t have city sales tax money to spend the way Arlington and Frisco do. But that doesn’t mean Dallas money couldn’t build one.
Arlington’s stadium critics also misrepresent the city’s bargaining position.
Fortune 500 companies that might buy boxes or rent suites are mostly based in the “sweet spot” of the market from downtown Dallas north to Plano and Frisco along both sides of the Dallas North Tollway.
The Fort Worth Cats and later Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs were the Chicago Cubs’ farm team in 1957-59 and 1964-67.
From Frisco, Arlington isn’t centrally located. It’s a long haul, and right now, a hot one.
About the Cubs: They stocked the farm-club Fort Worth Cats and Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs in seven of the 11 seasons between 1957 and 1967. In 1964, Cubs superstar Ernie Banks homered as the Cubs beat the Boston Red Sox 3-1 in a practice game at LaGrave Field.
Since then, Major League Baseball has been solely an Arlington experience. It’s at risk of becoming an Arlington memory.