Rangers owners outspending stadium opponents 264-to-1, with $500m at stake it’s chicken feed

The Dallas Morning News reports that proponents of a $500-million-plus subsidy for a new Texas Rangers stadium so they can have air-conditioning have raised 264 times as much money as opponents, largely by cashing checks from the Rangers owners:

Vote Yes! Keep the Rangers raised $617,707 and spent $564,479 in this latest campaign reporting period.  Of that amount, the Rangers donated $550,000, accounting for 89 percent of the campaign’s income in this latest reporting period. That was slightly more than the team paid this year for either closer Sam Dyson and second baseman and playoff scapegoat Rougned Odor. …

Stadium opponents Citizens for a Better Arlington reported $7,687.50 in donations and spent $2,264.04, according to the new campaign filing.

This is important not for what it says about levels of support for either side — it’s a lot easier to raise money when you can get $550,000 with one phone call — but because past experience has led to a rough rule that stadium referendums only pass when proponents outspend opponents by 100-to-1 or more. This doesn’t guarantee that Rangers owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson will be able to buy themselves an election — and generate a 1,000% return on their campaign spending in the process — but they’ve certainly given themselves a nice head start.


6 comments on “Rangers owners outspending stadium opponents 264-to-1, with $500m at stake it’s chicken feed

  1. Not just “free speech”, but a time stressed, generally uninformed public who thinks or hears that building stadiums is good for the economy. Hopefully, the real facts get around. Maybe it is a positive that the newspaper points out the campaign spending, but apparently many do not read news any more. Let’s hope the T.V. stations also pick up on it and people still at least look at news.

    • To be fair, it’s not always people being uninformed. Plenty of people will realize all the supposed economic benefits of the new stadium are smoke and mirrors but will vote for it regardless because they fear the team leaving.

      But I hope this is going to be a bellwether event. Tearing down a stadium barely 20 years old is beyond wasteful. I suspect this will leave a bad taste in many mouths around the country even if the deal passes. Like Mark Cuban said in relation to the NFL: Pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered and these owners are becoming very hog-like.

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