- The city of Arlington, TX, and the Texas Rangers are in talks to form a public-private partnership (P3) to build a $200 million mixed-use development near the Rangers' stadium, The Dallas Morning News reported. If the deal is approved, construction would start in 2016.
- The proposed development, currently the site of the team’s parking lots, would include 100,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and entertainment space and a 300-room hotel with 35,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.
- The developers, Arlington Ballpark District Entertainment Block, LLC, and Arlington Ballpark District Entertainment Block, Inc., are seeking $50 million in development incentives from the city, with the Rangers paying the balance. If the project goes forward, the city would give the Rangers performance-based incentives including income from property, sales, mixed beverage and hotel occupancy tax for 30 years, in addition to hotel occupancy and sales tax income from the state for 10 years once it is completed.
"Arlington’s partnership with the Rangers spans more than four decades," council member Robert Rivera said on his Facebook page. "This project is the next chapter in our long partnership."
Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene called the proposal "exciting news for our city" and told the Morning News it is the latest example of the city "seizing the opportunity to improve the community not only for the people who live here but for the 10 million visitors who come to Arlington every year."
Amid declining game attendance, rumors are swirling about a possible move for the Rangers to Dallas after their contract with the city and ballpark expires in 2024. Therefore, it makes sense that the city council is motivated to explore alternate capital investment strategies, such as a P3, to keep the Rangers in Arlington.
P3s, or partnerships between public entities and private companies, are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. The private piece of the partnership usually performs the work and assumes most of the risk.
Texas has also seen positive outcomes with a P3, crediting the strategy with the early opening of the renovated LBJ Express highway. Canada has also reported success with P3s, using one to shave $2 billion off the budget of a light rail project in Toronto.
In addition, Brendan Bechtel, president of the Bechtel Group made a recent plea to Congress, in a USA Today editorial, to push the use of P3s as a way to overhaul deteriorating U.S. infrastructure in the U.S.