ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Baseball is back in Arlington.
But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the stands in the brand new Globe Life Field are filled only with cardboard cutouts of fans.READ MORE: ERCOT Shuts Down Wholesale Electricity Provider Griddy In Texas
Normally, the stadium and Texas Live! would be packed with Texas Rangers fans, but not now.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said it’s been frustrating.
“It breaks our heart there because Arlington was experiencing some of its greatest economic prosperity in its history,” he said.
With a little more than a month before the NFL season begins, Dallas Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said it’s still to be determined whether fans will be able to watch the team play at AT&T Stadium.
He said the NFL along with state and local governments will weigh in on the issue.
A lack of fans at games would keep many North Texans home, along with those from opposing teams.
Mayor Williams said, “Pandemics hit tourism very hard. But in addition to that, we’ve also had our manufacturing hit. General Motors has had to be closed at various times, along with some of our other manufacturing sectors. We have the third largest shopping area here in the Metroplex, and it has been extremely crippled.”READ MORE: Texas Lawmakers Call On Public Utility Commission Chair To Resign
Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags are open, but a spokeswoman said Six Flags’ hours of operation have been adjusted during the pandemic.
The Mayor said a big drop in sales tax revenues has helped create a $20 million shortfall for the city.
Williams said he’s worried without more federal funding, the city will have to make additional budget cuts. “We won’t be able to provide the services that we need and the economic recovery will extend and will be weakened.”
He’s asking Congress to send more money to cities nationwide, including Arlington.
House Democrats have proposed providing cities with less than 500,000 residents a total of $250 billion.
Senate Republicans have instead proposed giving cities more flexibility in using federal funds they’ve already received.MORE NEWS: Plumber Shortage, Supply Chain Issues Delay North Texas Winter Storm Repairs
Despite the gloom brought on by the pandemic, Mayor Williams said he’s staying optimistic. “We’re all ready for this to be done. But without a doubt, I am looking forward to the future, because I think the future is very bright for us and we are going to come through this and be stronger for it.”