With a few billion dollars between them, Ray Davis and Bob Simpson are two of the richest men in Texas. So why are they looking for a $500 million handout from the Arlington city council?
Because Simpson and Davis are also the owners of the Texas Rangers, a Major League Baseball team, and they want a new stadium. That, despite the fact that their current ballpark is A) gorgeous and B) barely 20 years old.
With the unconditional support of a pliant municipal government and a campaign war chest pushing $2 million, Rangers ownership had to think winning voter approval for a new stadium—and the half-billion dollar government subsidy to help finance it— was a mere formality. But, armed with just a few social media accounts and less than $10,000 among them, a handful of local citizens waged a grass roots battle against the stadium that, on the eve of the election, had the proposal polling in a dead heat.
‘Throw A Billion Dollars from the Helicopter’ is only nominally a sports documentary. It’s a David vs. Goliath political battle about how we collectively decide to transfer wealth (here upwards). Only in Arlington, Texas, the giant trying to hand out the largest direct public subsidy for a baseball stadium ever and the diminutive adversaries trying to stop it are both small-government, anti-tax Republicans.