Home Plate Update September 2017 - Page 12

Arlington Refinances AT&T Stadium Debt, Expects to Save $138 Million T he City of Arlington refinanced its remaining AT&T Stadium debt this month as part of a financial strategy that will allow it to simultaneously pay for its $500 million contribution to the Rangers ballpark. Even though the debt will now be repaid by the original 2034 maturity date instead of an accelerated pace, Arlington still expects to save about $138 million in interest and fees over the original debt projections in 2004. The principal and interest currently owed on the City’s 12 portion of the AT&T stadium debt is approximately $171 million. Arlington’s portion of the stadium debt is repaid with revenue generated by three existing venue taxes – a half-cent sales tax, a 2 percent hotel occupancy tax and a 5 percent vehicle rental tax. For years, Arlington has been making larger than required payments toward that debt because of healthy tax revenue. As of this year, the City was on pace to pay off its portion of stadium costs at least 14 years earlier than the bonds’ 2034 maturity date. Then last November, Arlington residents authorized the City to make up to a $500 million contribution to build a climate- controlled, retractable roof ballpark for the Texas Rangers. Taking on the additional debt will require the City to slow down repayment on the stadium bonds so revenue being collected from the existing venue taxes can also pay for Arlington’s ballpark contribution. Arlington anticipates issuing bonds for its portion of the ballpark early next year.