By a significant margin, voters in Arlington, Texas, approved public funding for a billion-dollar stadium with a retractable roof to replace the Rangers’ 22-year-old ballpark.
A poll that showed a dead heat last month, but we’re all aware of the shortcomings of polling, aren’t we? Residents voted 60-40 to approve the issuance of $500 million in bonds in what is supposed to be a 50-50 split on the costs of the stadium, but it’s going to be worse than that: One study estimates that the measures will ultimately cost the city of Arlington $1.675 billion over the next three decades.
Andy Prior, a spokesman for a group against funding the new stadium, said the Yes side was too well-funded to beat, and that the result is “a perfect example of the city of Arlington’s profligacy.”
“It’s going to be heartbreaking driving past that beautiful [old] stadium and knowing that it is going away for no good reason and we will be left with this white elephant,” he said.
The bonds will be repaid by new taxes on hotels and car rentals, and the extension of a sales tax increase that is currently paying off the Cowboys’ stadium. The agreement also allows for new ticket and parking taxes, part of the proceeds of which will go to pay off the Rangers’ share of the ballpark’s costs, an “unprecedented” deal in the already-mindblowing history of stadium financing agreements.
The current plan calls for the new stadium to open as early as 2020.