Broadcaster Matt Hicks was in Texarkana Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce to talk about the Texas Rangers new $1.2 billion home, Globe Life Field.
Located across the street from Globe Life Park (old stadium), the Rangers’ new palace is considered 91 percent complete. The first baseball game will be March 23, an exhibition between Texas and the St. Louis Cardinals. The home opener in the regular season will be March 31 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Hicks noted the first event at Globe Life Field will not be a baseball game. A concert that features Chris Stapleton will be first.
Some have asked why a new baseball stadium was needed in Arlington, Texas. There’s two answers, both pretty obvious. Texas summers can burn you, drown you, or blow you away. There should be no more rainouts for the Rangers with the retractable roof. Sun burns in left field should also be a thing of the past.
No more sun burns noted Hicks
Secondly, it’s possible Globe Life Field could attract free agent pitchers, who didn’t want any part of Texas heat waves in July and August.
“The biggest feature has to be the retractable roof,” said Hicks. “It takes about thirteen minutes to open, or close. There’s also going to be two huge video boards, one in left field, and the other in right. The field will have artificial grass, really close to the real thing. It’s similar to what is being used by the Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix.”
Fans will likely get surprised when they go to the 1.8 million square foot facility for the first time. It sets on 13 acres, and seats 40,300. That’s 7,000 less than Globe Life Park, which opened in 1994. There’s multiple reasons for those plans.
“The new stadium is slightly larger on the inside, but has fewer seats because the seats are actually bigger. There’s now more space between the seats, and they’re steeper so your vision can’t be blocked. You’re going to be closer to the field.”
Hicks supported that comment by noting it was 50 feet from the back stop to home plate at Globe Life Park. It will be 43 feet at Globe Life Field. There’s not a lot of foul territory either.
There’s two concourses that allows fans to walk around the entire stadium. In addition there will be several concession stands with views of the playing field while standing in line.
Club houses will be enormous
The Rangers and visiting teams will have enormous club houses. Texas players will have 40,000 square feet, featuring a weight room, training room, pools and lockers.
There will be rows of suites, providing incredible views of the games.
Hicks does appear concerned that the lack of foul grounds could result in offensive contests. If that occurs free agent pitchers may still fear playing in Arlington.
“We don’t know how the ball is going to fly in the new park,” said Hicks. “If the roof is open there could be times we won’t know how the ball will fly (depending on wind patterns). It may take a year or two of date to know those answers. I still think we’ll be in the running for pitchers who weren’t interested before.”
Dimensions in the outfield are similar to the old ones. However, they pay homage to some of the Rangers of the past. Left field down the line is 329 feet in honor of Adrian Beltre (No. 29). Center field is 407 feet for Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, and right field is 334 feet in recognition of Nolan Ryan. The fence goes out to 410 feet in left-center and right-center, honoring Michael Young.