Both sides started making their final pitch on Monday to voters in Arlington deciding the fate of a new covered stadium for the Texas Rangers.
Signs for and against the new ballpark greatly outnumber those of the presidential race. The billion dollar proposal has divided many people in the place the Rangers have called home since 1972.
An independent poll recently conducted showed the race in a statistical tie.
Supporters and opponents of the new stadium were outside early voting locations in the city to have last minute conversations with voters.
Warren Norred opposes the proposal and is involved in the Save Our Stadium campaign, which refers to keeping the ballpark and not building a new stadium next door.
“We have a nice stadium, so were investing $500 million and were getting a smaller ballpark that has roughly the same economic impact … no we don’t need to do that,” Norred said.
City leaders disagree and held a news conference Monday afternoon encouraging citizens to vote yes on the new stadium. Mayor Jeff Williams said a retractable roof stadium is a must have and will generate more tourism dollars for the city. The tax that would pay Arlington’s portion would be the same tax used to pay for Cowboys Stadium.
“With voting yes our citizens will not have to pay one penny more in taxes than what they're paying right now,” Williams said.
The vote yes campaign claims more than 6,000 residents have asked for yard signs, along with every council member and 950 members of the Chamber of Commerce. The new stadium project was also endorsed by the local chapter of the NAACP on Monday.
“This is time for us to keep this momentum going and keeping one of our most important economic engines and partners here in Arlington,” Williams said.
But Norred is calling foul and said what's being sold to voters as a 50/50 deal is far from it in the long run. He's urging Arlington residents to take the time to read the 50 page proposal.
“$32 million dollars per year in sales tax, we’re going to do that for 30 years. What’s 30 times 32 ...640. That's a lot more than 500. You won’t see that in the ballot language,” Norred said.
If the referendum passes, the deal will keep the Rangers in Arlington through 2054. If it fails, the Rangers current lease keeps them for another eight years at Globe Life Park.