Relief from the summer heat could be on the way for Texas Rangers fans -- but it would mean the end of Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The City of Arlington and the Rangers announced on Friday a proposal for a new, retractable roof stadium. Complaints from fans about the heat during July and August games are regularly blamed for depressing attendance at the current ballpark.
The cost of the proposed stadium is $1 billion, with the team and city splitting the costs. Arlington's costs would be capped at $500 million with the Rangers handling any cost overruns.
Voters will have to approve the use of the city's half-cent sales tax in a November election.
The new stadium could open as soon as 2021 with a lease agreement keeping the ball club in Arlington through 2054. The design of the stadium would be similar to the current ballpark with a "traditional" baseball feel and red brick.
The new ballpark would be located just south of the current facility in what are currently parking lots A and B. New capacity would be lower than the current ballpark -- 42,000 compared to the nearly 49,000 at Globe Life Park.
“There's nothing wrong with the Ballpark that I know of, no structural problems,” said former Arlington mayor Robert Cluck. “But there is the heat factor and that is a huge thing. I hear a lot more about that then I do their taxes."
The Rangers' current home, originally called The Ballpark in Arlington, opened in 1994. The team signed a 30-year lease that expires after the conclusion of the 2023 season.
There had been rumblings some business leaders in Dallas were interested in getting the Rangers to leave Arlington and move to Big D when the ballpark lease expired but no serious proposal was ever made public.
Arlington and Rangers officials recently signed off on a new mixed-use development to be built next to the current ballpark and part of the new park. The Texas Live! development will feature a hotel, restaurants, bars, shops and meeting spaces. Groundbreaking on the development could happen as soon as this fall.