The Texas Rangers are reportedly planning to build a new retractable-roof stadium aimed at battling the oppressive Texas summer heat while also adding value to the Major League Baseball team and providing additional revenue streams.
Multiple Dallas media outlets reported the prospects of the new stadium for the Rangers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News. The city of Arlington, Texas, where the Rangers have played since moving from Washington, D.C., in 1972, is scheduled to hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Central on Friday for an “important economic development announcement,” the Star-Telegram reported.
The new ballpark would cost about $900 million, to be split equally between the city of Arlington and the Rangers. WFAA-TV in Dallas reported an election would be held in November to dedicate Arlington’s half-cent sales tax currently paying off the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington to the new Rangers ballpark. The city plans to pay off its debt on AT&T Stadium in 2021, nearly seven years early, the Morning News reported.
The Rangers currently play in Globe Life Park, which opened as the Ballpark at Arlington in 1994. The stadium’s lease with the city is set to expire before the 2024 season, the Morning News reported. There was speculation that the city of Dallas was trying to lure the Rangers with a new stadium.
It is not known exactly when and where construction on the new ballpark will take place. However, the Rangers have purchased the adjoining parking lots to Globe Life Park from former owner Tom Hicks. In December, the Rangers and Arlington announced plans for a $200 million public-private hotel and entertainment development next to Globe Life Park, the Morning News reported.
The Rangers have 14 day games remaining on their home schedule, including 10 on Sundays. The Rangers used to schedule some of their Sunday home games at night, but conflicts with Major League Baseball’s agreement with ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball have necessitated day games in Arlington during the summer.
There are six retractable-roof stadiums in the Major Leagues: Arizona’s Chase Field, Miami’s Marlins Park, Milwaukee’s Miller Park, Houston’s Minute Maid Park, Toronto’s Rogers Centre and Seattle’s Safeco Field, although Safeco is not a climate-controlled enclosure with the roof. Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field has a permanent roof.
The Atlanta Braves are set to move into a new open-air stadium called SunTrust Park next year in Cobb County, Ga., north of Atlanta.