From KERA News:
It’s one of those issues that pretty much everyone has a strong opinion about.
“We don’t want another city to swoop in and grab the Rangers,” said early voter Brian White. “The Rangers are Arlington, Texas.”
White runs an education nonprofit and said his is just one community organization that relies on contributions from the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.
I met with other early voters in downtown Arlington. Rusty Skipwith also voted yes. He’s glad the new ballpark would have a retractable roof and air conditioning.
“They do need an enclosed stadium because it gets too hot in the summer. And they should have thought of that when they built this one, but I’m a staunch Ranger fan, so let’s keep them.”
“I came in the heat,” said Carla Owens, who voted against the plan. “And I think that if our Rangers are too delicate, maybe they need to move.”
At this polling place, opinions were evenly split, which tracks with a recent poll by WFAA-TV and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It found 42 percent of city voters for the deal, and 42 percent opposed.
Pitching the plan
For months, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams doing double duty as the main pitch man for the plan. At a Kiwanis Club meeting, while members ate beef and mashed potatoes in a church multipurpose room, Williams said other North Texas cities are sniffing around the Rangers, and Arlington can’t afford to lose the team.
“Our future here is secured if we vote yes. And a vote no has so many ramifications: We don’t keep the Rangers, we lose the ballpark, we lose $77 million in economic impact,” he said. “We lose two and a half million visitors and we lose 2,000 jobs.”
The Rangers want a new, smaller stadium across the street from Globe Life Park. The roof is just one of the updated amenities in the plan. And it’ll double as an event venue in the off season.