Voters in Arlington, Texas, overwhelmingly approved a proposition to help fund a new $1 billion stadium for the Texas Rangers, which will keep the organization in the city through at least 2053.

Jeff Mosier and Loyd Brumfield of the Dallas Morning News reported the group fighting the proposal quickly conceded Tuesday night after early returns showed strong support. They also passed along comments from Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams about the result:

It’s a phenomenal thing how so many generations now have grown up going to the Texas Rangers here in Arlington. And now we have an opportunity for us to say that we want the Rangers to be here for our kids and grandkids. … It is a historic time in which all of our leaders have come together here to work hard to ensure that we kept the Rangers now.

T.R. Sullivan of noted the Rangers are hopeful the new retractable-roof facility will be ready in time for Opening Day 2020. That’s based on a timeline of finalizing designs in 2017 and two years of construction following Tuesday’s election victory.

While Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis expressed the obvious benefits for fans in terms of avoiding the summer heat in Texas, he interestingly suggested the new stadium could also help the front office when it comes to attracting more on-field talent, according to Sullivan.

“Long term, it means our fans can enjoy climate control without getting burned up and we can recruit more free agents,” he said. “Our fanbase has changed as millennials have come along, and we compete with people watching on television. This will create an environment they can enjoy every day.”

Rangers manager Jeff Banister also discussed his feelings about the result with, choosing to highlight the strong connection between the team and the community.

“It’s incredible,” Banister said. “A lot of hard work has been done by a lot of people who believe in the Texas Rangers and want to keep baseball in Arlington. I’m happy for all of those people, their hard work has paid off.”

The Save Our Stadium project had attempted to get voters to vote no on the proposition by questioning financial studies about the issue. The group argued the team’s current stadium, Globe Life Park, was recently paid off and had been built to last a century after opening in 1994.

“Asking Arlington residents with a median income of $52,000 a year to fork over their money to millionaires and billionaires so that they do not have to pay for their own stadium is just wrong,” a statement on its website read.

Nevertheless, voters moved forward with the plan anyway. Results from the Dallas Morning News showed 60 percent voted for the project with all precincts reporting, granting the approval of the project by more than 23,000 votes.


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