Cowboys, Not Rangers, Built Arlington’s Field of Dreams

The Ballpark in Arlington opened in 1994. Part of the sales pitch to voters funding its construction was the fantastic new developments that would spring up around it — restaurants, retail, hotels. We know how that story has turned out.

When the same voters approved $325 million for  The Colossus at Arlington next door, a similar vision was presented. But, so far, nothing. Is Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck at all concerned that 15 years from now we’ll be talking about the development around Cowboys Stadium just as we talk about the Ballpark’s failed plans? Of course not, he told me this afternoon. Why not? “Because it’s the Cowboys.”

We (North Texas) don’t love the Texas Rangers the way we love the Cowboys. That’s an indisputable fact. (I say that as someone who much prefers the national pastime to “violence punctuated by committee meetings.”)  But do we hold America’s Team in such high esteem that developers — and the retail, restaurants, and hotels they hope to accommodate –will rush to be associated with the big blue star in a way that they’ve never been compelled to join with the Rangers’ grand ambitions?

If the near-reverence in Cluck’s voice is any indication, the answer is yes. I’m hearing echoes of James Earl Jones: People will come, Jerry. People will most definitely come.

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