$810M phase of Texas Rangers sports, entertainment district construction approved by Arlington council

Dive Brief:
The Arlington, Texas, city council voted to continue its partnership with the MLB's Texas Rangers, Loews Hotels & Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of Loews Corp., and The Cordish Cos., and is moving forward with an $810 million expansion of Arlington's Entertainment District.  

The city extended the term of the district's Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, which will help fund improvements and new construction, water, sanitary sewer and stormwater facilities; parking improvements; street and intersection improvements; open space, parks and recreation facilities and improvements; public facilities; economic development grants; and administrative costs. When work on this phase is complete, the district will have seen the addition of the $550 million, 888-room Loews Arlington hotel; a new 216,000-square-foot Arlington Convention Center connected to the hotel; a mixed-use residential building with commercial, coworking and incubator space; a 200,000-square-foot corporate headquarters; and a public garage.
Total investment in the district so far is $2.2 billion, which includes the Texas Live! development, the $1.1 billion Globe Life Field, which is still under construction, and other projects. Ultimately, according to Cordish, investment in the district could rise to $4 billion.

Dive Insight:
One of the focal points of the Arlington Entertainment District is the Texas Rangers' future home, Globe Life Field. There was a brief period of time on Saturday, however, when it looked like construction might have suffered a serious setback when fire broke out. According to a preliminary investigation, combustible materials caught fire after being exposed to sparks from welding operations.

Greg McClure, vice president of sports for general contractor Manhattan Construction, said the ballpark is still on track to open in March and that the only elements that would have to be replaced is some metal decking and approximately 2,000 square feet of roofing.  

Because the Arlington Fire Department had been engaged in fire response training at the site since construction began, it contained the fire in just 37 minutes after arrival at the stadium. 

Meanwhile, the $250 million Texas Live! entertainment venue, located on a former Rangers parking lot for the existing Globe Life Park, has opened. When the Rangers move into their new stadium, Globe Life Park will not be demolished, but renovated. It will be converted into a multipurpose venue, which will host soccer and football games, according to Ballpark Digest. Renovations will include new seating, a new playing surface, elimination of the third base dugout and upgraded locker rooms. When the work is complete, the XFL’s Dallas Renegades and the USL League One’s North Texas SC will play there. 

As for the new ballpark, it will feature air conditioning for hot, summer days and a five-acre retractable roof. The 40,000-seat, 1.8 million-square-foot stadium will also include a more intimate seating bowl, bringing fans as close to the game as possible.

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