The Dallas Morning News has published a “six things you didn’t know” listicle about the proposed new $1 billion Texas Rangers stadium, most of which are more “six things you didn’t care about.” (Its secret code name, really?) Item #1, though, could be a moderately big deal:
The city announced that the Rangers would continue paying $2 million rent annually under this new agreement. But after the baseball stadium bonds are paid off, the $2 million annual rent would be diverted to pay for stadium improvements. Rangers had originally wanted that cutoff point to be 11 years or when the bonds were paid, whichever came first.
How much is this worth, potentially? Let’s say the bonds are paid off in 10 years, and the Rangers stay at their new stadium for another 20. That’d bring the rent rebates (which is what they are) to a net present value of $15 million, which, okay, when you’re already giving the team owners $500 million isn’t a huge difference, but money is money.
Add in the city’s costs from providing free (and property-tax-free) parking lots for the new stadium, plus possible costs from any shortfall in revenues that the Rangers would use to pay off their own share of stadium bonds (which will actually be sold by the city, presumably to get around paying income tax on things like naming rights and PSL sales), and the projected public cost is headed well north of half a billion dollars, though how far north is hard to say. When I have more time I’ll dig through the fine print of the stadium agreement to see if there’s anything in there to help clarify things; if you want to do the same, you can now find it here.