Rangers offer land for library

FORT WORTH – The Texas Rangers have reportedly offered to donate land near The Ballpark at Arlington for President Bush’s library if the city is chosen for the site.

The baseball team, which has joined with Arlington leaders in a bid to land the George W. Bush presidential library, is the latest player in a field of competitors that include the University of Texas at Austin, Baylor, Southern Methodist, Texas A&M and Texas Tech universities.

Southwest Sports Group, which now owns the Rangers, has given Bush a written proposal offering to donate a choice of sites from more than 100 acres surrounding the ballpark if the president chooses Arlington, Rangers president Mike Cramer told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Rangers owner Tom Hicks also discussed the initiative during private meetings with the president, Cramer said last week.

“We were told, ‘OK, thanks, it would be considered,’ “ Cramer told the newspaper. “The president knows we’re out there, and we would certainly love to have the land on the ballpark site.”

Bush, who was managing partner of the team before he was elected governor, will select the site before leaving office.

The Rangers and the stadium authority control about 160 acres around the ballpark, Cramer said. Most available property is being used as paved parking, and the rest is grassland, he said.

Cramer said the library would be within 200 to 500 yards of the ballpark, depending on the president’s choice of sites.

The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, dedicated in 1997 at Texas A&M University in College Station, is on 90 acres that include the future grave sites of the former president and first lady.

Supporters of a new library for President Bush say it could attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, creating new jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the regional economy. Such libraries store millions of presidential documents and resources for historians and others.

Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene said he contacted a senior administration official shortly after Bush took office but was told that discussions about the library were premature.

“I would think that Arlington would certainly be on a list of possible sites because of the long relationship Arlington has had with the president,” said Greene, who left the library campaign in March after being named the Dallas-based regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Leave a Reply