It’s arguably the most anticipated Opening Day in Texas Rangers history, but at the same time the most frustrating because we can’t occupy these one-of-a-kind rocking chairs for a one-of-a-kind view of a brand new ballpark.
As we know, Covid-19 has pushed back this glorious of days, but we’re here now. Only thing that isn’t “here” are the fans enjoying a plush new ballpark at 734 Stadium Drive in Arlington, TX.
Say what you want about the view from the sky, but this new ballpark is stunning and should’ve been here way back in 1994. I am one of those that was upset when learning a new ballpark was in the works for the Rangers to occupy, simply because of my love for “The Temple” as we like to call it.
The ballpark, which still stands, is only 24 years old and had multiple decades of use left in its tank. I, like many people, couldn’t understand how the City of Arlington and the Texas Rangers would want out of such a unique stadium. Well, now I do.
Since moving back to Dallas, I’ve written about my new-found ability to spend more time with my family and friends and because of that was able to tour the new park. My best friend from middle school, Joel, called me last minute asking if I wanted to check out the Rangers new digs and, of course, I was ready and willing to go. It took all of 2 minutes on the one-hour tour for me to buy in.
It’s really that simple. Heat in the summer, in North Texas, is a way of life. Why, just WHY haven’t the Texas Rangers ever played in a stadium with a roof? In fact, they have played 760 games over the last 26 years (since The Ballpark opened) in 90 degree weather or higher at first pitch. That’s 36.5 percent of the total games played in that ballpark. The next closest organization is the St. Louis Cardinals, which has played 334 games at 90 degrees or higher. So, in conclusion…air conditioning, once fans are allowed in, is going to create a renaissance of sorts of baseball interest in our region.
After my lightning-quick realization that air conditioning means way more than all the memories I had at the old ballpark, my focus changed to soaking in everything Globe Life Field will offer fans for many many years to come.
This place is absolutely stunning, no matter how you slice it. You could literally sit in a different area of the stadium throughout the entirety of a full season and have a different experience each time. Once the hour long tour was over, my group meandered off on our own and saw just how vast this structure was.
Globe Life Field showcased the Rangers history with several murals cascading the walls and stairwells, a brewery high atop the left field stands, Chuck Morgan’s perch located just off the main concourse and gigantic video boards with interactive screens that’ll show more than just the score.
The only disappointment, for me, was not being shown the clubhouse and player “extras” such as the weight room and training rooms. I’ve heard all the equipment and space is tip top among the MLB’s best, but for whatever reason (probably Covid-19) we weren’t allowed in that area of the park.
So, as we are all fired up for having real LIVE baseball back today on Opening Day, we’ll have to enjoy it from home, like everything the past several months. But once we get through this pandemic, I’m telling you, AC, in this ballpark is going to be magical.