UPDATE July 2016…since my last December blog two things materialized…
- the assumption that council wanted to build a new baseball stadium with A/C was realized
- there is lack of hard evidence that the Rangers would have gone elsewhere even “with” the Texas LIVE project
Here is my comments to our City Council back in December of 2015 when they were voting on Texas LIVE…
Saturday, the landlord of the Paris Climate Accord arrived. She will be collecting her long overdue rent from the citizens of planet earth. Not paying up buys us an inhospitable, UNliveable, unsustainable-to-life, climate. Not paying up robs the NFL & Major League Baseball teams of future generations of athletes and visitors.
Are we going to tell our landlord sorry we have to first upgrade our digs and oh yes we need some more cigs? Is that the message we want to be loathed by when looking back at this moment as I stand before council?
Let me digress and and have you consider “What if the school year started in June and lets out in April & May? Six Flags patrons wouldn’t have to avoid or take cover from the sun’s heat bouncing off that black, unforgiving concrete”. Its ideas of flexibility like this that Climate Changes forces opportunities on us. We need to grab the revenues working around our changing weather to truly be a family-friendly destination for vacationers.
The Coliseum in California is home to both the Oakland A’s and the Oakland Raiders. You can go on youtube and watch an 18 hour time-lapsed transformation of the playing field……
so why not have ATT Stadium host the Ranger baseball games and use the Ranger Stadium on beautiful weather days? Families want to be outside when the weather is nice and Arlington hosts both venues in laughably close proximity.
Here is a video from Giants to Jets transformation…
Flexibility in response to increasingly hostile weather is actually an OPPORTUNITY for Arlington to offer a choice of venues for the Rangers Baseball Team.
Instead we aim to:
- grant away $50 million of our gas drilling funds in exchange for not having any risk associated with the failure of this project
- not collect a sales tax increment for the TIRZ like other businesses have to*
- deposit money for 10 yrs to developer in a State Refund Grant
- give tax abatements in the form of Hotel Grants in the hope that “if you build it they will come”
That didn’t work in China where that lavish Ordos development is now the world’s largest ghost town. And that didn’t work for some of brand spanking new restaurants near College Park Center or the Vandergriff Town Center…. we HAVE to humble ourselves to accept that the bigger they are, the harder they can fall before risking it all and throwing what I feel is a Hail Mary Pass to keep the Ranger team in Arlington.
What if you don’t finish building it…for sure they won’t come…what could stop this project dead in its tracks?
The Lake Lewisville Dam could suddenly give way…. they already drilled many wells near this dam. We cannot ignore the persistent seismicity of the Irving frackquakes. Oklahoma had another quake on (Sunday 12/13/15) six miles near Cushing, our largest commercial oil storage hub in North America…things can go south really fast today thanks to fracking.
Instead lets do a REAL stakeholder deal with Dallas and use those dedicated drilling funds to make sure they don’t face the threat of being under 50 feet of water. If Dallas agrees not to try to bring the Rangers there, we loan them this money to work on that dam as a first priority to save lives & property.
This goodwill gesture has more than monetary value. It gives peace of mind. Blood money from Urban Drilling that has industrialized our town will get a chance to finally be used for a higher and best purpose. That blood money costs us in health risks in adding a burdensome load to our air shed and a public health cost to more aggressively treat raw water intake from industrial run off of storm waters.
Before this Hotel Project, I was actively emailing council and blogged that we should be spending drilling funds to buy up the Quicksilver drill sites on the Ft Worth side of Lake Arlington because of the recent historic flooding and because they are going up for auction next month.
In looking at page 21 of the 2011 Lake Arlington Master Plan that, “A significant portion of the drinking water that the citizens of Arlington receive from the Water Utilities Department ultimately comes from springs, stormwater runoff and tributaries within the Village Creek watershed that drains into Lake Arlington.”
Page 491 says “Gas well facility point sources were predicted to contribute considerable amounts of TSS (Total Suspended Solids) load to Lake Arlington”.
On page 511 it says “Under this scenario, an average a gas well site point source is estimated to contribute 7,100 lbs of TSS annually to the receiving waters in the watershed“.
Having an increased load of contaminated waters increases the levels of unwanted (carcinogenic) and federally regulated by-products of disinfectants called Total Trihalomethanes.
Our landlord’s over due rent aims to trigger a fundamental shift to renewable energy sources and her invoice has been delivered to the global financial and energy markets….but the winds of change should also be blowing in the world of sports and in our daily habits of consumption and conservation.
Do we spend drilling funds on cigarettes or saving lives?
*Here is the link to the City of Arlington’s TIRZ account for the Entertainment District that the stadiums are said to be exempt from (which begs the question why are they not contributing?)….