Photo of Texas Rangers players meeting on the pitcher's mound at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Image Credit: KA Sports Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Texas Rangers organization is lobbying for the construction of a brand new stadium only 22 years after the opening of Globe Life Park in Arlington. It seems as if the Rangers are following the footsteps of the Atlanta Braves who will move into Suntrust Park next season after playing only 20 years at Turner Field. The motive? Well, there are a few.

For starters, the Texas Rangers organization wants a ballpark that will boast more club and luxury seating, the additional potential of securing a large naming rights deal with a corporation and new revenue from personal seat licenses (PSLs). The Texas Rangers sold their current ballpark's naming rights in 2014 to locally based Globe Life and Accident Insurance Co. The naming rights deal will net the Rangers ownership $50 million over the span of ten seasons. Local businesses will also quickly snatch up club and luxury seating for an entire season, like so many other professional sports markets have proven. The private seating areas are often used by businesses to entertain guests and clients that are in town for business. 

The Texas Rangers front office also wants a stadium with a retractable roof that protects fans from the violent Texas heat during the summer months. I have never been to Globe Life Park in Arlington nor have I been to Texas so I can't comment on the heat. Ownership is confident that a climate controlled venue would be able to bring more fans through the gates which in turn, brings more revenue to the franchise. The Texas Rangers drew more than 3 million fans during both the 2012 and 2013 campaigns, an attendance threshold all 30 Major League Baseball teams aim to accomplish. Additionally, the Rangers ownership group is confident that a new stadium will be able to be the centerpiece of an entertainment complex similar to Ballpark Village at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Six Flags over Texas and AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, would also serve as centerpieces of the entertainment district. 

The first thought that always comes to mind when the proposed construction of a new stadium or arena is discussed is who's going to pay for it. Americans are taxed enough as it is. There are too many examples of wealthy owners of sports teams threatening to move the team if a new venue isn't built with taxpayer money. It has happened to residents of Seattle, Charlotte, New York City, Baltimore and Cleveland to name a few. According to economists Dennis Coates and Brad Humphreys, stadiums and arenas do not generate the economic growth that the general public perceives that they generate. 

Exterior photo of Globe Life Park in Arlington. Home of the Texas Rangers.

Image Credit: Adam Moss (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Construction costs for this new ballpark are estimated to be in the $1 Billion range. The Rangers will contribute half of the money needed for construction with the other half coming from tourism taxes on hotel rooms and rental cars. A half-cent tax that is currently paying for AT&T Stadium could also be worked into the mix according to the Dallas News. However, Nolan Ryan and the rest of the Rangers front office are terrified that investors in neighboring Dallas, Texas will lure the Rangers into downtown Dallas. That's essentially what this whole ordeal is about; breaking the current lease and starting a new one. The team's current lease with the city of Arlington ends in 2024. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has confirmed that Dallas would love to bring the Rangers to their city. 

If you're like me, you find the older ballparks like Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Kauffman Stadium to be much more charming and appealing than the shiny new ballparks with all of the bells and whistles. In the long run, it's much cheaper to renovate and maintain than it is to tear down and rebuild. I wish I could say that this topic was only a rumor but that doesn't appear to be the case. In all likelihood, the Texas Rangers will be playing in a brand new ballpark by 2020 or 2021. 


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