Pushing for answers: Arlington stadium deal

Pushing for answers: Arlington stadium deal

ARLINGTON — The vote on a proposed new billion-dollar, retractable roof stadium for the Texas Rangers is just seven weeks away.

But Tuesday, some expressed concern that the new ballpark in Arlington might be in trouble. They've pointed to something that happened Tuesday at Globe Life Park.

The Texas Rangers and the city of Arlington pulled out all the stops to make major announcements designed to generate excitement about the new stadium vote November 8. But stadium critics say the hastily assembled project's promises and enhancements are a clear sign that the vote may be in trouble.

For the first time, Arlington residents and Rangers fans were provided a glossy and detailed glimpse of the proposed new retractable roof stadium and entertainment complex called Texas Live. Included in the renderings was the old Globe Life Ballpark, still standing in the background amid all the new development.

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The drawings were part of a grand presentation at the 22-year-old ballpark that the Rangers want to replace.

Tuesday's line-up featured Mayor Jeff Williams, Rangers owner Ray Davis, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Texas Live developer Blake Cordish batting clean-up.

Their new and improved plan for a retractable roof stadium and entertainment complex is to save and repurpose Globe Life Park, which would possibly be demolished if the new ballpark is built.

Another proposal, to expand the Texas Live entertainment complex and hotel from a $200-million project to a $250-million project and to expedite construction of Texas Live to the Spring of 2018.

But critics are calling "balk".

"This is nothing more than campaign trickery to try to fool people who are gullible and want to believe," said new stadium opponent Warren Norred. Norred.

He said the presentation is a desperate attempt by a team that knows they're behind in the count and down in the polls.

"This is just designed for a campaign," Norred said. "And losing just days before the vote, they know they have got to do something because they are losing."

Norred says first of all, in order to save the existing ballpark from demolition, the Arlington City Council would have to rewrite and re-vote on the master agreement between the city and the Rangers. We asked Mayor Williams if that was correct.

"I guess that will be a business decision," Williams said. "But I am so excited about what we heard today."

As for the extra $50 million to pay for the upgrades to Texas Live, all anyone would say is it would it would come from private sources and not Arlington taxpayers.

But the more questions we asked, the murkier the answers became. Developer Blake Cordish couldn't remember when he was first approached about repurposing the current Globe Life Ballpark.  And when we asked MLB Commissioner Manfred when he decided to come speak on behalf of the Rangers proposed new ballpark he said, " I just can't remember off the top of my head."  

Another promise came from Rangers' owner Ray Davis. He says construction on Texas Live will begin right after the Rangers win the World Series this year. He also says Texas Live will be built even if Arlington voters reject the new stadium.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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