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SUIT CHALLENGES LAND CONDEMNATION FOR ARLINGTON STADIUM SITE
Published October 6, 1994
There is a "fierce legal feud" that has developed over land near The Ballpark in Arlington. The Mathes family, which owns the land, has sued the city of Arlington and the Rangers to challenge the city's purchase of the land. They charge that the team and the city "conspired" to improperly condemn the property when a sale price could not be agreed upon. The 270-acre stadium complex will be leased from the city for $3.5M/year until it is available for purchase in ten years (Ken Dilanian, FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/5). BEHIND THE SCENES: Arlington real-estate broker and Rangers part-owner Mike Reilly mediated several of the proceedings to obtain private properties on the proposed stadium site. A memo from Reilly to Rangers co-owner Tom Schieffer states that the initial offer for the Mathes property should be the "final offer," to be followed by condemnation proceedings. The memo also says the Rangers should consider establishing "development standards" with Arlington city officials to give the Rangers "a tremendous amount of 'quiet' control over the land parcels you [the Rangers] do not own in this area" -- meaning the team would have a key role in determining development standards in the area near the stadium. Arlington City Attorney Jay Doegey admitted that Reilly "may have overstepped his bounds" (Selwyn Crawford, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/6). POLITICAL PLOT? The Mathes suit has become "fodder for political gamesmanship" in the TX gubernatorial race. Rangers Managing General Partner George W. Bush is a named defendant in the suit but says he had "no personal involvement." Bush calls the suit "a money issue" intended to "pressure" him during the campaign. But Gov. Ann Richards' office describes the actions, if as alleged, as "the height of hypocrisy" (FT. WORTH STAR- TELEGRAM, 10/5).