SBD/May 14, 2013/Facilities

Rangers Force Arlington Election In Hopes Of Expanding Ballpark Alcohol Sales

Rangers fans helped a petition to force an election on expanded alcohol sales
The MLB Rangers in seeking to expand alcohol sales at Rangers Ballpark “took the broadest -- but potentially cheapest -- approach when the team sponsored a successful petition drive" to set in motion an Arlington election on the issue, according to Jeff Mosier of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. But the move “wasn’t the only option or even the simplest one.” The Rangers “could have expanded wine sales at the Ballpark without an election, but that would have cost the team" $1M or more annually. The Rangers also “could have proposed a more limited election rather than one that would permit bars in south Arlington and liquor stores to open citywide.” Sportservice local GM Shawn Mattox, whose company operates concessions at Rangers Ballpark, said, “This gives us the flexibility to choose different types of licenses to fit the types of spaces we want to operate. We just felt like that was a good approach.” Rangers President of Business Operations Rick George said, “Simply put, we want to be able to sell wine wherever we sell beer in the Ballpark.” The Rangers and Sportservice “organized and funded the petition drive that gathered the more than 22,000 signatures needed to force the Nov. 5 election.” The Arlington City Council is “required to call the election, which is expected to happen this month.” If approved by voters, the proposition “would clear up inconsistencies in alcohol licensing citywide by making Arlington completely wet.” There are currently “three Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission permits at the Ballpark." With the election six months away, “no organized opposition has emerged” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/13).

STAYING AT THE RANCH: Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan yesterday discussed his decision to stay with the franchise despite losing the title of team president this spring. He said, "I felt like I needed to visit with (co-Chairs) Bob Simpson and Ray Davis and get a better feel for what their vision of the ballclub was and where we were going as far as going forward, and what role I would play in that. I think it took us a while to get there, but I feel like that we have a much better understanding now than we did this offseason and during Spring Training." Ryan said he feels his relationship with President of Baseball Operations & GM Jon Daniels and the rest of the front office is "going smoothly." He acknowledged he thought about resigning, saying, "You have good days and bad days, and there's things that come into play that affects your thought process." But Ryan added everybody now "has a better feel for what our different roles are, so I would say things are good" ("Galloway & Company," ESPN Radio 103.3 Dallas, 5/13).
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