PRIDE AND IDENTITY: WHAT'S A CITY WITHOUT BASEBALL?
It was 1958 when a committee was formed to study the
feasibility of bringing minor league baseball to the Metroplex.
That committee was chaired by Tom Vandergriff, who was beginning
his seventh year in office as mayor of Arlington.
Arlington had only about 90,000 people in 1972 when
professional baseball actually moved into Arlington Stadium some
14 years later.
The Washington Senators soon became the Texas Rangers, and
major league baseball hit a homerun in Arlington!
Fan appreciation was growing in a ballpark that could seat
only about 35,000 fans.
Newly elected Mayor Richard Greene remembers leading an
effort in 1989 to form a public/private partnership with the new
owners to build a modern and much larger major league playing
field for the Rangers.
1990, he enlisted Vandergriff to assist in a campaign to inform
Arlington voters of the importance of keeping the Rangers in
“When team ownership changed in 1988, almost no one thought
Arlington could work out a deal to build a new ballpark for the
team,” Greene said. “The need for a new ballpark had been
established and Arlington stepped up to the challenge when
voters overwhelmingly approved a $135 million bond package for
the new ballpark.”
Today, what would Arlington be without the Rangers? According
to Greene, Arlington would not be the world class city it has
“What’s happening today is exactly what we contemplated when the
Ballpark was being built,” Greene said. “Our city’s identity and
pride has grown.”
Elzie Odom was mayor when Arlington taxpayers paid off The
Ballpark in 2001, nearly 10 years ahead of its scheduled payoff
date. The City celebrated with a bond burning ceremony.
“At that time, we never thought a world series was not
possible,” Odom said. “We were always optimistic and had a
“In terms of size and recognition, the city has grown with the
Rangers,” he said. “In 1972, when you mentioned Arlington,
people right away thought Arlington, Virginia. The Texas Rangers
have brought us national recognition we didn’t have in 1972.”
This year, the Texas Rangers won the American League Pennant
and played in its first-ever World Series. Professional baseball
in addition to the recent success of the NBA All-Star game,
Cowboys Stadium, the arrival of international bowling, tennis
and the Super Bowl XLV coming in February makes Arlington’s
pride and its identity stronger than ever, said current Mayor
“We are proud of the Texas Rangers and all they mean to our
city,” Cluck said. “It’s been a great season!”
History of Baseball in Arlington
Over the Years - Timeline
1958 A committee is
formed to study the feasibility of attracting minor league
baseball to the D/FW Metroplex. The committee is chaired by Tom
1964 Construction begins
on the 10,000-seat Turnpike Stadium in Arlington. It was home to
the Dallas/Fort Worth Spurs.
1971 Arlington is awarded
the franchise for major league baseball.
Turnpike Stadium is renamed Arlington Stadium and the seating
capacity is expanded to 35,000.
1972 Arlington Stadium
becomes home to the Texas Rangers, formerly the major-league
Washington Senators. The Texas Rangers compiled a club record
total of 59 sell outs at Arlington Stadium.
1976 The City of
Arlington and the Texas Rangers develop a two-year program to
renovate and enlarge Arlington Stadium’s seating capacity to
1987 Texas Rangers
purchase Arlington Stadium from the City of Arlington.
1989 An investor group
led by George W. Bush and Edward "Rusty" Rose purchases
controlling interest in the Texas Rangers from Eddie Chiles.
1990 The Texas Rangers
and City of Arlington announce plans to build a new stadium
complex adjacent to Arlington Stadium.
1991 Arlington voters
approve a half-cent sales tax increase to finance up to $135
million of municipal bonds for construction of a new stadium.
1993 The Ballpark in
Arlington becomes the official name for the new stadium.
1994 Arlington Stadium is
The Ballpark in Arlington opens. The first game is an
exhibition contest between the Rangers and the New York Mets on
April 1, 1994.
1998 Investor group led
by Tom Hicks acquires the Texas Rangers.
2001 The City retires the
$135 million bond debt that pays off The Ballpark
2010 Baseball owners
approve the sale of the Texas Rangers to a group led by Chuck
Greenberg and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.
Texas Rangers win their first ever play-off series with a
victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the American League
Texas Rangers advance to the American League Championship
the first time in franchise history and face the
New York Yankees.
With a win over the New York Yankees, the Texas Rangers
advance to their first ever World Series.
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