Arlington council approves Rangers stadium vote in November

The Arlington city council voted unanimously Tuesday night to put the new Texas Rangers stadium proposal on the November ballot.

Voters will be asked to pass a sales tax on themselves and on fans who attend baseball games to help fund the $1 billion project.

The new stadium would have a retractable roof and air conditioning to keep out the Texas heat. Construction costs would be split between the city and the Rangers.

The "Save Our Stadium" opponents say it would mean the city would swap Globe Life Park for a smaller more expensive stadium.

"This really is a bad deal,” said Warren Norred. “And we have plenty of time. [The Rangers] cannot leave for eight years. All we have to do is pass a more reasonable proposal in a couple of years."

Wayne ogle has served on the city council and the school board. He believes Arlington would be in dire straits without aggressive development.

"If we never did economic development deals, if we never took extra steps to keep General Motors here, what kind of aging, degraded urban decline suburb would we be?” Ogle said.

This week, opponents intercepted Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and posted video of the confrontation online. The encounter was somewhat strained.

“But don't question my integrity,” the mayor told the group. “You can disagree with me, but don't question my integrity."

The video goes for almost 12 minutes until the mayor took offense again.

Dallas city officials confirmed reports that they were talking to the Texas Rangers about moving there before the deal for the new stadium.

However, opponents don't believe the rangers would leave. Supporters say keeping the Rangers in Arlington is part of the city’s legacy.

“It can be about legacy,” said Norred. “But there is a dollar amount far beyond which it's too much, and we're there."

Voters will be asked to approve two new taxes: a ticket tax and a parking tax. The money from the taxes would also be used to pay for the new ballpark.

City officials say the new taxes are user-type taxes paid by visitors who visit Arlington for the Rangers. Opponents say visitors only pay for about 20 percent of those taxes.

The current stadium was built with the help of tax dollars in 1994, but often isn’t full in the sweltering Texas heat.