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Ballpark Parking Still Under Discussion

By Ryan Crowe, CBSDFW.com
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – What was considered a small detail for the Texas Rangers during last year’s auction is still being discussed by the front office hours before the first pitch of the 2011 season.

The Rangers and Tom Hicks’ company, Ballpark Real Estate, are still in talks over the use of the parking lots that surround Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

“The team is in the process of finalizing a lot of things for the season, and one of those is parking,” says Rangers Executive Vice President for Communications John Blake.

Rangers Baseball Express, the investment group now headed by team president Nolan Ryan, purchased the team at the court-ordered auction hearing in the early hours of August 5, 2010.

Hours before the auction began, Hicks’ Ballpark Real Estate removed the 154 acres of land that surround the ballpark from the sale of the team, calling it a ‘good faith effort’ to equalize the auction process.

Part of the land, mainly used for parking, was once slated to become a mixed-used entertainment complex known as Glorypark, connecting Rangers Ballpark in Arlington to nearby Cowboys Stadium with shops, restaurants and office space.

The land was set to be sold in a separate sale for $75 million, and with opening day of a new season just hours away, those talks are still happening.

One aspect of the discussion involves the team’s agreement with the city that guarantees a set amount of parking spots available on game days.

The City of Arlington says they have been made aware of the ongoing discussion.

“The former owner and new owners are still trying to work out their land use,” says Arlington Deputy City Manager Trey Yelverton.  “The team had a year-to-year agreement, and now it’s next year.”

“We expect no disruptions with parking issues, and we’re confident everything will be restored,” Yelverton added.

He says the city has an interest in fans having a good time and having no issues getting there, something Rangers Executive Vice President for Ballpark Operations Rob Matwick says won’t be a problem.

“Yes, it’s an ongoing discussion, but we’re treating it as business as usual,” he said.

And with a record opening-day crowd expected for Friday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, Hicks’ group, the Rangers and the city all say that the bottom line is there will be no impact on fans.

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