If you mapped the traffic flow in North Arlington on your phone Saturday night, you no doubt saw a steady stream of red. The incoming vehicles weren’t all headed the same place, but almost all of them had one thing on their minds: sports.
Arlington did something no other city in North Texas can do, and it might be the first time it’s ever happened. It played host to three professional sporting events at one time.
None of the teams in question are actually named “Arlington,” but they all stage their home games there. Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers took on the Chicago White Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington while the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys played the Indianapolis Colts at AT&T Stadium as the WNBA’s Dallas Wings hosted the Atlanta Dream at College Park Center.
North Texas hosts a plethora of professional teams. Our 13-county area is home to more than 200 cities and towns. Frisco is the only other one of them with three pro franchises (NBA G-League’s Texas Legends, Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas, and the Texas League’s Frisco RoughRiders baseball team). The northerners (relatively speaking) could conceivably host all three in a day if the Legends made a playoff run deep enough to overlap the start of the RoughRiders’ season, but they have yet to do so.
Based on official attendance numbers, 127,254 people watched live sports in A-town Saturday. Many thousands more tuned in on their preferred screens as all three games were televised. A lot of folks paid attention to Arlington at some level.
Arlington’s civic leaders have bet big on sports. An evening like Saturday magnifies the good (visitors patronizing local eateries and opportunities for nearby residents to conveniently attend high-level athletic contests) and the bad (brutal traffic congestion and locals declining to brave it to patronize Lincoln Square retailers). The economic impact studies produced to support such a project are notoriously unreliable and much of an individual’s assessment is subjective anyway. In my case, I like sports, so I enjoyed getting to go to one of the games while keeping up with the others’ progress online. Some people might prefer their city host a trio of quilting bees or renaissance festivals.
As you’re determining what you think about Saturday’s big sports night, does it matter that all three teams won? Sure, the Cowboys were in preseason, but a win’s a win. And the Rangers and Wings really needed their victories as they attempt to secure postseason spots. Does being able to host three Ws in a night make Arlington a city of winners? Should Arlingtonians talk trash to two-team Dallas or teamless Little Elm?
This could happen again September 10 if the Wings make the playoffs and the schedule falls right. That day the Cowboys and Rangers face the Giants and Yankees, respectively, both outfits having been named for a city that has hosted 3+ games in a day many times (although the Giants now play in New Jersey). The Wings could even conceivably host the New York Liberty if results and seedings so dictated. So if you think you’ll be in the mood for some live sports that day, come to North Arlington (I’d show up early, by the way). If you believe you’d like to browse used books, cruise Collins Street in your hot rod, or stroll through Bob Cluck Linear Park, maybe pick another day.