ARLINGTON -- While the rest of the nation waits to see who will be the next president, the Rangers will find out Tuesday night if they will be getting a new ballpark.
Arlington voters will be going to the polls to decide if the city will provide 50 percent funding for a new ballpark for the Rangers. If approved, the new facility will be built adjacent to Globe Life Park and could open as early as 2020, although '21 is more likely.
A recent poll conducted jointly by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and WFAA TV showed the vote even at 42 percent for and against.
The ballpark would include a retractable roof and air conditioning. The projected seating capacity would be between 38,000 to 42,000 fans, plus luxury boxes and other high-tech state-of-the-art amenities.
The cost of the new facility is projected at $1 billion. The city's share of $500 million will come from the continuation of a half-cent sales tax which was used to build a new stadium for the Cowboys. The Rangers' $500 million will come from a tax on tickets and parking.
Supporters of the initiative say a new ballpark will be worth $77.5 million to the city annually. They also say that approximately 70 percent of the tax money will be from visitors coming in from outside the city. The retractable roof and air conditioning are also considered vital during Texas summers.
Opponents are against tearing down a beloved facility that opened in 1994 as the Ballpark in Arlington, and they have cast doubt about the actual financial benefits that will come from the project. A roof and climate controls are the main amenities missing from the ballpark, which has undergone over $50 million in renovations by the Rangers over the past six years.
The Rangers' current lease on Globe Life Park runs through 2024. After that, the club would be free to move to any other city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area willing to fund a new stadium.
If the new ballpark is approved, the Rangers say Globe Life Park will not be completely torn down. Much of the facility will be incorporated into Texas Live!, a multimillion dollar entertainment district also being built adjacent to the park. Construction of the project began last month and is expected to continue regardless of the vote.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.