Estrada Hinojosa served as sole financial advisor to the City of Arlington’s (the “City”) $1 billion ballpark for the Texas Rangers, the Major League Baseball franchise. This stadium is located adjacent to the current ballpark and within walking distance to the AT&T Stadium, where the National Football League Dallas Cowboys play. Estrada Hinojosa has worked with the City for the past several years to refund/restructure existing debt and to facilitate the financing of this stadium. The City held a successful venue election in November 2016 which allows for both the existing Cowboys debt and the new Rangers debt to be serviced from the same taxes.
Background: Estrada Hinojosa has been the sole FA to the City of Arlington since 2009. During this time, we have helped the City with the sale of 77 transactions for a combined par value of $2.35 billion, including the three transactions for the Rangers ballpark. Previously, we worked with the City as an underwriter, including the 2006 transaction to finance the new Cowboys stadium. As financial advisor, we worked closely with City staff to analyze different scenarios to finance the construction of the ballpark for the Texas Rangers – this replaced Globe Life Park. In part as a result of our analysis, the City undertook a vote to allow special taxes collected by the City to support both what was the existing Cowboys and new Rangers related debt, enabling the financing of the ball park. The special tax measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters in November 2016. These special taxes consist of a half percent (0.5%) sales tax, two percent (2.0%) hotel tax, and five percent (5.0%) short-term vehicle rental tax. These taxes served as the pledged revenues of the ballpark financing.
Transaction: The ballpark financing consisted of a two-step process: a) a refunding of outstanding Cowboys related debt, and b) a new money transaction for the new ballpark. The refunding of $145 million of existing debt, which took place early fall 2017 and was used to create debt service savings and to facilitate the new money issuance. The refunding producee over 5% PV savings but also pushed back the final maturity of existing debt by nearly a decade. Collected excess revenues where also used to reduce the size of the refunding escrow. The new money transaction, which occurred in early 2018, funded a project fund of $500 million, consisted of senior and subordinate lien bonds, and included escalating debt service that matched the growth of the pledged revenues. The transaction consisted of both tax-exempt and taxable debt, also covenants that allow for excess revenues to be used to turbo bonds (accelerate payment) prior to their stated maturity. In total, the City expected to issue nearly $590 million in debt to refund the existing debt and provide net proceeds to construct the stadium.
Estrada Hinojosa has worked cooperatively with City staff, the senior manager, and other finance team members to produce a finance plan.
$456.425 Million Senior and Subordinate Lien Special Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2018A-C
- The City of Arlington has been the home of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball Team since 1972
- Although the lease was not expiring until 2024, the City and Rangers negotiated a new agreement early which goes through 2054.
- A venue election was held on 11/8/16 to allow current special taxes to support both the Rangers and Cowboys debt
- Special taxes consist of 1/2 % sales tax, 2.0% hotel occupancy tax (HOT), and 5.0% short term vehicle rental tax
- EH helped the City with $110.2 million Senior Lien Special Tax Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2017 which closed in September
- Refunded/restructured $146.9 million of Cowboys special tax revenue bonds in anticipation of new money
- The City is contributing $500 million to the project which is expected to cost approximately $1.25 billion and open in 2020.
- Closed lien structure with no ability to issue additional new money
- All residual revenues used to retire debt early
- Senior lien bonds structured with minimum coverage of 1.30X using historical revenues to meet the additional bonds test (ABT) established under a new master indenture
- Subordinate lien bonds structured with minimum coverage of 1.25X based on pro forma revenues and then level debt service
- DSRFs funded with surety policies from AGM and BAM for senior and sub lien respectively
- $11.02 million to be transferred from existing senior DSRF to pay off debt early
- $266.080 Million Senior Lien Special Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2018A
- AGM insured serial bonds 2025 to 2038 with term bonds in 2043, 2044 and 2048
- All bonds had a 5% coupon except the 2044 term bonds which had a 4% coupon
- 10-Year Par call on 2/15/28
- $28.250 Million Senior Lien Special Tax Revenue Bonds, Taxable Series 2018B
- Uninsured serial bonds from 2018 to 2032 with term bonds in 2037 and 2041
- Bonds sold at par
- Make-whole call at comparable Treasury rate+25 bps
- $171.095 Million Subordinate Lien Special Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2018C
- BAM insured serial bonds 2022 to 2038 with term bonds in 2041, 2045 and 2048
- All bonds had a 5% coupon
- Mix of call features on 2/15/21, 23, 25 and 28 to allow for early redemptions
- Senior Lien Bonds: AA+ (Fitch), A1 (Moody’s), A+ (S&P)
- Subordinate Lien Bonds: A3 (Moody’s)
Rent: Base rent of $2 million /year also pledged to the taxable bonds