As a referendum on a new Texas Rangers ballpark approaches, both proponents and opponents of the project are pitching their respective cases.
Ballpark proposals of any kind tend to bring out their fair share of campaigning. While there will often be individuals and sectors backing the project, they are countered by those who oppose the ballpark, particularly when public funds are involved.
That would be seen in just about any project, but the proposal in Arlington is a little more unique than some. The Rangers and the City of Arlington would split the cost of a $1 billion retractable roof ballpark that would open in 2020 or 2021. In the coming weeks, the city is expected to finalize a referendum that gives voters authority in either approving or rejecting the project.
Anticipating an intense campaign, both sides not only going to work, but stating why they believe voters will agree with their objective. More from the Dallas Morning News:
Jim Runzheimer, an attorney and a longtime critic of Arlington stadium initiatives, said he expects spirited opposition to the Rangers stadium drive.
“I think this time around that there will be much more opposition compared to the previous two campaigns” for Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium, he said. “There is a loose but large coalition of opponents that are going to fight this thing.”
Rudd’s flier makes the claim that “The Rangers are threatening to go to Frisco,” but doesn’t attribute that statement. [Peggy] Rudd said she heard it somewhere, but isn’t sure where.
There are reports that the Rangers might build a new stadium in Dallas if the Arlington deal falls through, but Frisco — home of the Rangers’ minor-league affiliate Rough Riders — hasn’t been mentioned in news reports as a possible new home for the big-league club.
[Brian] Mayes said the negative campaign will be defeated at the polls.
“People in Arlington will reject” the anti-stadium side, he said. “The people here don’t like to be divided.”
The best visual for the pro- and anti-ballpark arguments fliers that are being distributed. While ballpark opponents cite the project’s cost and argue that a new facility is unnecessary, proponents are building their case around the argument of keeping the Rangers in town without having to enforce new taxes. (The Morning News has images of both fliers.)
As with similar initiatives that are taking place this fall, there should be some public polling that measures the willingness of Arlington voters. That will add to what is likely to be an intense debate between now and November.
Images courtesy of Populous.