- The Arlington (TX) City Council has officially approved a contract with the Texas Rangers that will keep the team in its new $1 billion stadium until at least 2053, according to the Star-Telegram.
- Construction on the new ballpark is set to begin this summer, and the document that commits the team to Arlington for 33 years is just one of many agreements that must be solidified before then. Completion of the new stadium is scheduled for 2020.
- The Rangers and Arlington are splitting the stadium costs, and the team will put up funds to start construction. The city will start raising its share through bond sales at the end of this year or the beginning of 2018.
Arlington voters approved a $500 million bond deal last November, a measure that is backed by a handful of city tax increases. In January, the Rangers announced that they had chosen Dallas-based architecture firm HKS to design the venue, which will feature street-like pedestrian walkways, a retractable roof, high-tech elements and will connect to the $250 million Texas Live! entertainment center next door. Crews were able to begin construction for that mixed-use complex early when the Rangers failed to make the playoffs last year.
HKS has extensive ballpark experience, but its most recent completed sports facility was the $1.1 billion Minnesota Vikings U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, which opened ahead of schedule.
One of the most welcome features of the new Rangers ballpark is something that should quell complaints during summer games — air conditioning, an amenity the current stadium does not have. Fans won't have too different a trip to the ballpark, however, as the new stadium is being built in a remote parking lot of Globe Life Park, the team's current home.
At the end of 2016, team management announced that they had hired Jack Hill, one of the supervisors during construction of Globe Life Park, to oversee building of the new stadium. Hill has also worked with HKS on AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, and the Milwaukee Brewers' venue, Miller Park.