Last night was a media feast…here is WFAA’s coverage which mentions how the proponents far outnumbered the opponents, but here is evidence as to how/who some (most?) of these folks ended up at the meeting in the white tee shirts…
The Rangers and Arlington officials want our residents to foot HALF of a billion dollar baseball stadium with retractable roof, less seating and A/C….of course my biggest beef is at least one of the Ranger billionaire owners made his cash with fossil fuel interests (that worsen the very climate change that is making ever increasingly outdoor events unsustainable EVERYWHERE!)…#construction #workers #suffer TOO!
- The stadium would now cost $1 billion, with Arlington taxpayers’ share at $500 million. No idea why the price tag is $100 million higher than it was on Friday morning, though the conspiracy-minded will note that even if the actual cost estimate is the same, upping the target price means the Rangers owners’ responsibility to pay for all cost overruns won’t kick in as soon now.
- For the Rangers owners’ share, they would get to use personal seat license fees plus parking and ticket tax money, which would pay off bonds sold by the city — meaning if PSL sales fell short, say, the city could end up on the hook for more than $500 million. This, you’ll recall, was the initial concern with the San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, and though that worked out okay in the end when the PSLs sold out, it’s still an added risk for Arlington.
- The public’s base $500 million will come from the 0.5% sales tax surcharge, 2% hotel tax surcharge, and 5% car rental tax surcharge currently being used to pay off the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium, which the Dallas Star-Telegram calls “no new taxes.” Except that the Cowboys stadium was set to be paid off in 2021, at which point those taxes could either have been eliminated or redirected toward something else — so really this is a new extension of existing taxes for as much as an additional 30 years.
- The Rangers will continue to pay the same $2 million a year rent to the city that they pay on their current stadium.
- The city council will vote on a stadium agreement tomorrow — apparently Texas doesn’t believe in things like public hearings — and if approved, the project will then go before voters in November, something that the Dallas Morning News entirely left out of its ten-point rundown of the proposal, which stated the stadium plans entirely in the simple future tense (“It will be open by April 2021”). Way to go, writers on the fait accompli beat.
- While most of the existing Globe Life Park would be torn down to make way for parking lots (the new stadium would be built on existing parking lots), there could be attempts to save “parts of the facade and other historic features” at the ballpark, which is younger than all but one player on the Rangers’ current roster.
That tells us a lot more than we knew Friday morning, but there are still a bunch of unanswered questions:
- Nobody knows how the first few years of construction bond payments will be paid off, since the taxes involved still need to keep being used for Cowboys stadium debt through 2021.
- Will the Rangers owners pay any property taxes on the place? Who will pay maintenance and operations costs? Will Arlington get any share at all of stadium revenues like naming rights, or will the public have to pay off its share entirely from tax revenue while the Rangers get to use actual stadium income for theirs?
- What do Arlington residents think of the deal? (The Star-Telegram ran an article headlined “What fans, Arlington officials are saying” but then apparently forgot to interview any actual fans, since the only quotes (aside from one local sports bar owner) were from current and former elected officials who supported the deal.)
From: kim feil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Charlie Parker <email@example.com>; Michael Glaspie <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Robert Rivera <email@example.com>; Trey Yelverton <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Jim Parajon <email@example.com>; Kathryn Wilemon <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Lana Wolff <email@example.com>; Sheri Capehart <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Robert Shepard <email@example.com>; Jeff Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Victoria Myers <email@example.com>
Cc: Brett Shipp <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 11:36 AM
Subject: Please table Arlington council Ranger ballot vote until Q’s R answered
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: kim feil <email@example.com>
To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 11:26 AM
Subject: Arlington council vote today notes I need
- “Give Arlington residents free Ranger tickets”…I think 1/2 price tickets is more appropriate and at least the stadium could look full.
- Tie the $500 million vote to include a high speed rail commitment
- and more on my blog about a Litmus Test if after the voters vote NO and Texas LIVE doesn’t break ground by year end as promised….
In my blog I post a video of the mayor of Arlington admitting the Rangers have NOT “said” they were leaving.