Entertainment districts near sports venues are not new. An increasing number of sports teams are investing in entertainment districts as a way to bring in revenue From AEG’s $2.5 billion LA Live to the Gateway District in Cleveland they are found all over the country. What’s unique in Arlington, is the fact that the ownership of the Texas Rangers has a stake in it.
Team owners now have a vested interest in keeping their facilities vibrant all year long — even when games aren’t going on, said Joe Favorito, a sports media consultant and professor at Columbia University.
“If you factor into a growing area like gambling, where elaborate spaces in stadia can even be used when teams are away for fan engagement, these type of investments are going to become more vibrant, and lucrative as joint ventures,” he said.
According to Cordish, it’s not only good business but it helps the overall franchise value and puts more fans in the stands.
“They are making their fans happier. When you do that it increases the value of the experience and the value of the team,” he said.
Leibman said the added revenue will help the Rangers be able to fund better, quality players on the field.
“There’s only so much you can generate from ticket sales and TV revenue – this is just an added revenue source,” he said.
The project’s owners are also hoping Texas Live helps put Arlington on the map as a tourist destination by providing a Loews hotel and amenities for a family friendly trip.
More than 2,000 construction workers were hired to build the entertainment center and it is expected to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs. The project is expected to draw an additional 3 million visitors per year to the city of Arlington, which already has 14 million annual visitors.
“You are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue and jobs,” said Cordish.
contributed to this article.