Arlington city council holds first reading for new ballpark proposal

The Arlington City Council took another step toward approving a new ballpark for the Rangers.

There was a packed house Tuesday night as the council had its first reading of a referendum. The crowd against the proposal outnumbered those for a new covered ballpark.

It was a gleeful announcement back in May when the Rangers said they wanted to build a billion dollar stadium. It was a different feel in Tuesday’s meeting.

The council got an earful from a growing anti-stadium citizen group. Twice as many people spoke up against the stadium.

A public hearing was held on the referendum that Arlington voters will see on the November ballot. Voters will either approve or deny a half cent sales tax that would help fund a proposed one billion dollar retractable roof stadium for the Texas Rangers. It’s very similar to the way the Cowboys and the city financed AT&T Stadium.

But in the past several weeks, groups like ‘Citizens for a Better Arlington’ and ‘Save our stadium,’ referring to the current ballpark, are speaking up against the proposal.

The spokesperson for that group laid out reasons why they think this is a bad deal.

The deal is 50/50. The city would put in $500 million and a $500 million investment by the Rangers. The city pledges to cap its contributions there. The rangers will take care of any overages

Rangers hope to throw the first pitch in the new stadium in April of 2021.

The first voted was held at the Tuesday meeting with a final votes slated for next Tuesday on August 9.