ARLINGTON -- "The Texas Rangers are staying in Arlington, Texas!"
That's how Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams started his address Tuesday night in front of a crowd of supporters. They spent this election season with one goal, and it was accomplished. The Texas Rangers won't be staying in Arlington in their 22-year-old so-called sauna stadium, Globe Life Park. They'll be doing so in the shade and A/C of a brand new park.
Because Arlington voted yes for a new stadium, and this one will have a retractable roof.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says it's definitely good for the fans.
"We're going to end up with a facility here that will provide a comfortable, seasonal, viewing opportunity," he said.
The commish also sees it as a boon for baseball.
"Some of our jewel events, most notably the All-Star Game, take place in the middle of the summer," Manfred noted. "To have a market like Dallas-Fort Worth that has a stadium that's climate controlled presents an opportunity for us to bring those special events."
For reference, the All-Star Game came to Globe Life Park (when it was The Ballpark at Arlington) in 1995, in its second year of existence.
The question is, how will that area change? The answer: substantially.
Randol Mill Road, which runs down the 1st base side of Globe Life Park, will remain, but the parking areas across the street are going 'bye-bye.'
The Texas Live! entertainment district is turning those parking lots into party lots. That construction will cover about half the area from Randol Mill Road to Cowboys Drive, and from Johnson Creek beyond what is now Nolan Ryan Expressway. It's slated to be ready for Opening Day 2018.
Back behind Texas Live!, the rest of that lot between Randol Mill Rd and Cowboys Dr will be the new stadium, with a connector joining the two projects. It will open no later than the 2021 baseball season.
As for the old digs? Globe Life Park isn't supposed to be going anywhere. It's just being repurposed.
With all that construction taking up the current lots, where are we going to park? Well, enjoy your walk. You paid for it!