It seems appropriate that in this bizarre political climate that fear — even unsubstantiated fear — is the driving force behind the Texas Rangers and the city of Arlington joining forces to replace Globe Life Park, all of 22 years old, with a nearly $1 billion stadium with a retractable roof and air conditioning.
Sauna-like summers in North Texas are certainly brutal, and if you don’t consult a Globe Life Park sundial to locate shaded sections before purchasing tickets, the evening rays that beam into the stadium can leave a farmer’s tan a deeper shade of red than those Rangers jerseys.
But don’t pin this on the heat. Friday’s stunning announcement of a split venture between the team and Arlington citizens who — if they vote in favor, will carry over the half-cent sales tax that is now helping Jerry Jones pay for AT&T Stadium a block away — was steeped in fear.
Even without a substantive plan in place to lure the Texas Rangers to Dallas when the park’s lease expires in 2023, the idea had been broached. That’s all it took to stoke fear in the only city the Rangers have called home.
Opinion among Rangers fans have been mixed.
Opinion among reporters from around the nation just seems mixed up. A new stadium when the old-new one is only 22? Even some modern-day marriages last longer than that. The Simpsons have been on the air longer. Second baseman Rougned Odor was born two months before The Ballpark opened.
Here’s a look at what some are saying about the Rangers’ retractable-roof stadium plan:
▪ Maury Brown writes on Forbes.com that the Rangers are proof that Major League Baseball is joining the Disposable Society.
▪ Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com contends that financing deals don't make sense for the taxpayer and that even local governments in a relatively healthy (financial) state “shouldn't be indulging in this kind of corporate welfare.”
▪ Claire McNear of Ringer.com (Bill Simmons’ new online venture) takes a look back at the major players in getting The Ballpark built and how it was supposed to be built to last.
▪ Tom Ley of Deadspin calls this agreement that will cost Arlington residents close to $500 million “especially rotten.”