Entertainment area to be built near Globe Life Park

Entertainment area to be built near Globe Life Park

ARLINGTON -- Groundbreaking for Texas Live!, an entertainment district that will be built in one of the parking lots operated by the Texas Rangers, could begin as early as the first quarter of 2016.

The $200 million project, which was approved by the Arlington City Council on Tuesday night, paves the way for a dining and entertainment complex just outside Globe Life Park.

It's expected to create 1,800 jobs and generate approximately $2 billion in direct and indirect salaries in the area over the next 40 years.

The Rangers have invested more than $60 million to upgrade the fan experience at Globe Life Park over the last five years, and Rob Matwick, the club's executive vice president of business operations, believes this will be the next step.

"The Rangers have, and will continue to look for ways to make our fan experience the best in baseball," Matwick said. "When this great ballpark opened, the vision was for it to be followed by development. While there have been plans previously, with the approval of the city council last night, the Rangers are ready to begin delivering on it."

"Those of us who have lived here in Arlington all remember the tag, 'The Entertainment Capital of Texas,'" Arlington mayor Jeff Williams said. "We don't want to dream small. We want to dream big. We want to make this the premier destination in the United States [for visitors to come to]. That is the vision all of us have."

The Rangers and Arlington have teamed with The Cordish Companies to make the project a reality. The Cordish Companies has produced similar mixed-use/entertainment areas in Baltimore, St. Louis and Kansas City.

In addition to restaurants and retail, the plan calls for an event space that can seat up to 5,000 people. An upscale, full-service hotel with a minimum of 300 rooms is also in the plans.

Matwick said no architect for the project has been decided on yet.

The project will take up approximately 600 of the 1,600 spots in Lot A, which is a parking lot between Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium.

Anthony Andro is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.