FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Texas Rangers have reportedly offered to donate land near The Ballpark at Arlington for President
Bush's library if the area is chosen for the site.
The Rangers, who have joined with Arlington leaders in a bid to
land the George W. Bush presidential library, are the latest
players in a field of competitors that include the University of
Texas at Austin as well as Baylor, Southern Methodist, Texas A&M
and Texas Tech universities.
The 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
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 in a telephone interview from Arlington. "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 ultimately make the selection on the site of his
presidential library before leaving office.
The Rangers and the stadium authority control up to 160 acres
around The Ballpark, Cramer said. Most of the available property,
which lies primarily to the south or west of the park, is being
used as paved parking, and the rest is grassland, he said.
Cramer said the presidential library would be within 200 to 500
yards of The Ballpark, depending on the president's choice of
"There are plenty of places," Cramer said. "We'd be willing
to contribute land in some way, shape or form to get the library
The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum was
dedicated in 1997 at Texas A&M University in College Station. It
sits 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 serve as storehouses for millions of presidential
documents, kept under exacting standards for humidity and
temperature, 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.