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Report: Rangers Ballpark Could Cost Arlington $1.675B

The proposed $1 billion ballpark for the Texas Rangers may reportedly cost the city of Arlington almost $1.7 billion, more than three times the initial estimate.

Dallas-Fort Worth TV station WFAA released the findings of its investigative report this week. Arlington officials said in May when the proposed retractable roof baseball stadium was announced that the city would split the cost with the Rangers at $500 million apiece.

The projected price tag for Arlington — including taxes, construction costs, interest on loans, lost revenue and giveaways — totals $1.675 billion over the next three decades, WFAA-TV reported. Revenues that Arlington would “give away” to the Rangers over a 30-year period include naming rights ($300 million) and stadium seat licenses ($75 million), according to the report.

Related: Reports: Rangers Plan to Build Retractable-Roof Stadium

In addition to the $500 million in taxes, Arlington also would need to borrow $500 million in city bond debt, the TV station projects. Over 30 years, including accounting fees and interest, that debt could cost $900 million to $1.1 billion, an Arlington city spokesperson told WFAA-TV. Arlington also would need to pay $300 million for admissions and parking.

“This is totally one-sided,” said Arlington attorney Jim Runzheimer, who opposes the new stadium. “This has to be close the best deal ever cut in favor of a professional sports franchise and a government entity. It’s incomprehensible.”

The pro-stadium group “Vote Yes!” claims Arlington residents would pay only $330 million over 20 years, but that estimate did not include lost revenues from naming rights and seat licenses.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said in a statement to WFAA-TV: “We believe your numbers and math are flawed and do not accurately represent the Rangers or the City of Arlington’s contribution to this proposed project. We remain confident that the City and team have reached a strong agreement, with the voters’ support, that will keep the Texas Rangers in Arlington for generations to come.”

The vote on the proposed stadium is Nov. 8. A WFAA/Star-Telegram poll released Sunday showed 42 percent of the 700 respondents support the new stadium, 42 percent oppose the new stadium and 16 percent are undecided.

The Rangers 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. If the new ballpark is approved, it would open in 2020, right next to Globe Life Park.

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