Dallas newspapers now resorting to running 27-year-old Rangers vaportecture images

Man, the Dallas media just can’t stop beating that “Texas Rangers may seek a new stadium in Dallas” drum, can they? On Saturday, with no actual news to report, the Dallas Morning News dug up an HOK rendering from 1988 of what a Dallas stadium might have looked like, if the Rangers hadn’t ended up getting a new stadium in Arlington:

TAB 1 4.jpgMain takeaway: Man, computer rendering were terrible in 1988. It’s like watching the original Toy Story and realizing how far things have come in a relatively short time.

Right now, the only thing driving any Dallas stadium discussion appears to be the fact that the Rangers’ lease expires in 2024, so Dallas could conceivably try to lure the team away from Arlington at that point if it wanted. This is yet another reason why team owners don’t want to own their own stadiums: Not only would they have to pay their own property taxes then, but they wouldn’t have expiring leases to hold over the heads of local officials. Or have the local news media hold over officials’ heads — it’s so much more convenient that way.

Texas Rangers may want new stadium because old one is 21 years old and doesn’t have a roof and, yeah

If you had the Texas Rangers in the “Who will be the next team that got a new stadium in the ’90s to be rumored to be looking for a new one barely 20 years later after the Atlanta Braves?” pool, congratulations, for you are a winnah!

The Rangers, who began the season in miserable shape, have turned in a remarkable second half of the season, running their way up the standings and currently sitting 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros in first place of the American League West. And yet despite the storybook season, the Rangers are pulling terrible attendance numbers…

The attendance problems are likely to contribute to speculation that, perhaps, the time is ripe to push for a Rangers relocation to downtown Dallas. According to the Star-Telegram, Dallas city officials have denied that they are trying to woo the Rangers. However, the team has said they’d really love a stadium with a retractable roof. That sounds a bit like an invitation to suitors.

If that sounds overly speculative even for sportswriters on a slow day, you’ll get little argument from the evidence: Let’s see, there’s an article from early 2014 that notes the Rangers “remain one of the few teams located in a searing summer climate without a roof,” then one from a little later in 2014 that says “rumors have swirled that the club might be looking to move to Dallas and build a stadium with a retractable roof,” and oh look, here’s one from D Magazine (same source as yesterday’s story) way back in 2011 that said the Rangers’ stadium in Arlington is ugly and one in Dallas would be maybe less so (and roofed) and … anything with anybody from the Rangers actually saying for attribution that they want a new stadium? Anyone? No?

What’s going on here is twofold: First off, the Rangers’ lease expires in 2024, so everyone is speculating on what will happen then, even though the team’s owners would be insane to leave the nation’s fifth-largest TV market for, well, anywhere. Second, and more important, is that even more than Atlanta, where Cobb County decided to throw $300 million at the Braves to steal them away from the big bad inner city, the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area is made up of a bunch of different localities that can fight over a team. And that means lots of people spreading rumors, whether it’s local officials or writers for single-lettered magazines or whatever. And some of these rumors may even turn out to be true — again, with lots of different elected bodies on the prowl, if your lease is up it’s a great way to get a bidding war going, and that floats your boat.

Yesterday’s D Magazine story goes on to give a whole bunch of reasons why a new stadium in Dallas would be awesomer than an old new stadium in Arlington (“The young people heading back to Uptown and thinking about which patio to hit for happy hour would see the stadium looming just a hop away”!), without ever considering that the big difference is you don’t have to build a stadium in Arlington, because it’s already there. For a billion dollars or whatever a stadium is going to go for in 2024, you could pay people to stand on streetcorners (or whatever they have in Dallas — traffic medians?) and hand out maps to downtown Dallas and coupons for free drinks, or whatever the kids of tomorrow will be into.

Most important to note: Whatever you think of the stadium in Arlington, the reason why it’s being considered for replacement rather than the Colorado Rockies‘ stadium or the Baltimore Orioles‘ or the Cleveland Indians‘ has nothing to do with whether it’s a good place to see a ballgame, or even the local weather. It’s about how easy it might be to get somebody else nearby to consider building a new one. Same as it ever was.

Rangers, Pelicans cut deals to make you call their buildings by ridiculous names

The Texas Rangers announced yesterday that they’d sold the naming rights to the Ballpark at Arlington (formerly Ameriquest Field, until Ameriquest broke the economy and went belly-up) for an unknown sum, and that the stadium would henceforth be known as “Globe Life Park in Arlington.” Which is one of the worst names for anything ever — the Fort Worth Star Telegram helpfully noted that “fan reaction to the new name on social media sites ranged from unimpressed to outraged, with comments such as ‘barf,’ ‘lame’ and ‘at least they kept Arlington in the name’” — or at least was, until this a couple of hours later:

The New Orleans Pelicans and Louisiana-based Smoothie King have reached a 10-year agreement to rename the New Orleans Arena as the Smoothie King Center.

On the bright side, at least it’s clear what a Smoothie King sells, unlike a Globe Life. Still, it’s getting increasingly hard to see why anyone should be using these branded names for buildings, since they change about as often as soccer jersey logos. (Thankfully, no one has tried to insist that we call them “Qatar Airways FC Barcelona.” Yet.) It’s easy enough to call the Rangers’ ballpark “the Rangers’ ballpark” (in fact, it’s officially been “The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington” the last few years, not that I’ve noticed), call the New Orleans arena “the New Orleans Arena,” and so on. At least until the teams give us a cut of the product-placement moolah. Hey, New York City’s transit agency does it!