The Regional Transportation Council approved a $17.5 million funding swap for road and sidewalk improvements in Arlington’s Entertainment District ahead of the 2024 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

What happened

Council members unanimously approved the funding swap during an Oct. 11 meeting. The action authorizes staff from the North Central Texas Council of Governments to send $17.5 million in federal funds to the city of Arlington.

The city would trade for the funds by sending $17.5 million in local funds to the council of governments for road and sidewalk improvements throughout the entertainment district. The district encompasses AT&T Stadium, Choctaw Stadium, Globe Life Field and Six Flags Over Texas.

Funds will be invested into several categories:
  • $6 million for operational enhancements: dynamic message sign boards, software improvements and traffic signal enhancements
  • $3 million for transit infrastructure: bus staging and enhanced transit capacity
  • $8 million for streetscaping and safety: sidewalks, lighting, crossing improvements and signage
In addition to the funding swap, the council of governments will send $3.8 million in regional toll revenue to the city for interim improvements on Randol Mill Road.

The details

The funding swap is part of a phased approach to making district improvements, according to a staff presentation. Council already took action on the first phase in January when members approved $1.9 million to assist in construction of the National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington.

The improvements currently slated for the entertainment district are part of the second phase, which calls for improvements ahead of the 2024 MLB All-Star Game. The third phase will implement more improvements ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Transportation Director Michael Morris said improvements being made were mainly for capacity needs. Trading funds with Arlington was the only way to receive local funds quickly enough before the All-Star Game next year, he said.

Also of note

In the same action, council approved allocating $250,000 for transportation support for the Wings Over Cowtown Air Show in 2024. Fort Worth's Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base will host the two-day event. Between 150,000 and 180,000 visitors are expected to attend the event each day.

The funds will be used to support regional park-and-ride lots, security protocols, charter services and more, according to a staff presentation.