The Texas Rangers announced that insurance company Globe Life will be their home ballpark’s naming rights sponsor today. The deal, at 10 years for an undisclosed amount, runs concurrently with the remaining lease years. Globe Life, a subsidiary of Torchmark based out of Oklahoma City, is not among the largest insurance companies in America, but the deal will give the company a fairly high profile.
The originally monikered “The Ballpark in Arlington” was so named when the stadium opened in 1994. A decade later, sub-prime mortgage lender Ameriquest bought naming rights. Those rights were relinquished as Ameriquest collapsed at the outset of the financial crisis. Since 2007, the park has been known as “Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.” As the second company to secure naming rights, Globe Life probably didn’t have to pay anywhere near the amount a brand new, untainted stadium would fetch.
Looking down the road, the rights deal is an early sign that the Rangers see the end of the road at TBiA. With the naming rights deal ending with the lease, the Rangers will have the freedom to start their own discussions about a successor to their current digs, which the Braves are doing with similarly-aged Turner Field. Ameriquest’s deal was to run 10 years beyond the current lease. Rangers ownership knows what they want, and with discussions about improvements (such as a rolling roof) as done as Nolan Ryan’s tenure as an executive, don’t be surprised if talks about a new ballpark somewhere in the metro start in a few years.
UPDATE 7:00 PM – The name may be generic, but at least it’s not the Smoothie King Center.