Casino operator Choctaw strikes naming rights deal for Texas Rangers’ former ballpark home


The Arlington ballpark and former home of the Texas Rangers baseball team will be renamed Choctaw Stadium in a naming rights deal announced Wednesday by the club and tribal nation.

The move extends the Choctaw Casinos and Resorts presence in North Texas to a broader audience, giving it brand exposure to fans attending entertainment events and professional, college and high school sports at the former Globe Life Park.

And it clears up name confusion for visitors to Globe Life Field, the neighboring retractable roof stadium where the team has played since last year. Globe Life Park was the Rangers’ home from 1994 to 2019.

The team’s former home has been reconfigured into a multi-use facility able to host other sports and entertainment events. Prior to the pandemic in 2019, the stadium played host to XFL pro football, USL League One professional soccer, and high school football games.

Professional soccer and high school football will both return to Choctaw Stadium this fall and the Dallas Jackals, a Major League Rugby team, will make the stadium its home field beginning in 2022. The stadium plans to host 16 high school and three college football games this fall.

Choctaw Casinos and Resorts is owned by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which has almost 200,000 tribal members. The company operates seven locations throughout Oklahoma, but draws almost 80% of its customers from Texas and advertises heavily throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The agreement deepens the relationship between the Rangers and Choctaw, whose partnership began in 2010. In May 2019, Choctaw was named as the team’s official and exclusive casino and resort and also developed a significant advertising presence at Globe Life Field, the team’s new stadium.

Euless Trinity fans celebrate during a high school Class 6A Division I Region I semifinal football game at Globe Life Park in December.(Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)

Janie Dillard, senior executive officer for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, said the tribe wanted to formalize a long-term relationship with the Rangers and reach even more potential guests in the area.

“North Texas is our market that we really speak to, and this gives us a better arm to be able to speak to our guests coming to Choctaw’s casino in Durant,” she said.

Jim Cochrane, the Rangers’ senior vice president for partnerships and client services, said the naming rights deal will help the team “run a first-class facility at the old stadium.”

“We’ve had a deal with [the Choctaw Nation] for quite a while, and that deal has grown over time, and then it grew again, which was great,” he said.


Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Dillard said the partnership is a significant investment for Choctaw.

“This is not something that’s taken lightly by our tribe for what we have committed with our tribal dollars,” Dillard said. “I’m excited about the opportunities this is going to bring for both of our organizations.”

The announcement comes amid ambitious expansions for both the Rangers and Choctaw. The Rangers are seeking to create additional revenue through the team’s new entertainment company, REV Entertainment, which formally launched earlier this month. REV, which shares its owners with the Rangers, has been hosting events in Arlington since 2017 and now hopes to expand nationwide.

Choctaw completed a major expansion at its flagship Durant casino and resort earlier this month. The property’s new 300,000-square foot Sky Tower is the centerpiece of a $600 million expansion that officially opened to the public on Aug. 6, adding 1,000 hotel rooms to the property and nearly doubling its number of slot machines.

The Aqua at Sky Tower is a 3-acre, two swimming pool area, one for adults and one for families. The family pool is equipped with water fountains and slides. Choctaw Casino and Resort's new 21-story complex has a 1,000-room hotel, restaurants, a conference center and retail.
Crews clean seats on the upper concourse at the Texas Rangers' new Globe Life Field as preparations for an upcoming concert are made on the stadium floor on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Arlington.

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