Arlington's Gas Drilling Revenue Helping Fund Texas Rangers' New Sports Complex
The Arlington, Texas City Council announced that they will tap into its large stockpile of gas drilling revenue to help the Texas Rangers develop land next to their stadium. The $200 million project could get $50 million in city money plus another $50 million in tax incentives, according to The Dallas Morning News. The development will include a sports complex, a hotel and other structures.
The City of Arlington sits atop the Barnett Shale in North Texas. When Arlington leased city-owned land for natural gas drilling in 2006, the “Arlington City Council charged a team of members with exploring ways to preserve the unexpected financial windfall associated with gas drilling activities undertaken on city-owned properties for the benefit of Arlington’s future generations,” according to the Arlington Tomorrow Fund website. The City decided to contribute 90% of lease bonuses and 50% of lease royalties to the Foundation’s corpus.
By 2014, the Arlington Tomorrow Fund had received $100 million in gas drilling revenue from the City, completing its contributions.
The Arlington Tomorrow Fund has provided support for a number of projects. According to their website:
"in June 2014, the board of directors reasserted its commitment to enhancing the life, leisure and culture of Arlington by focusing grants on projects and programs which have a significant and lasting impact on the community. As such, the board set a target more than 76% of annual funding to help underwrite large grants which promise to have a large impact on the city and its citizens. Generally, projects in this category have a grant floor of $75,000 and may include support for capital and new programming efforts. Further, recognizing the importance of ongoing programs which enrich and serve the people of Arlington, the Foundation typically targets 13% of funding for smaller grants with a grant floor of $5,000; ten percent of earnings will focus on underwriting City of Arlington endeavors."
The Arlington Tomorrow Fund and it's contribution to the new sports complex is a shining example of how natural gas drilling in the Barnett Shale has benefitted area residents and, in this case, will continue to do so in perpetuity.