Globe Life Field

From BR Bullpen

BUILT: September 28, 2018 - March 14, 2020

CAPACITY: 40,300

Win-Loss Record:

FIRST GAME: July 24, 2020 vs. the Colorado Rockies

DIMENSIONS:

Left field: 329 feet
Left-center field: 372 feet
Center field: 407 feet
Right-center field: 374 feet
Right field: 326 feet

Globe Life Field opened as the home of the Texas Rangers in 2020. This was one year ahead of the original schedule, as when plans were first announced in 2016, it was with a target opening date of 2021. But it was also three months behind schedule, as it should have been in April, however the date was pushed back to July 24th by the coronavirus pandemic.

On September 28, 2018, ground was broken for construction in Arlington, TX, across the street from the team's then ballpark, Globe Life Park in Arlington. Commissioner Rob Manfred attended the ground-breaking ceremony and stated that new ballpark would be "perfect for events like an All-Star Game or World Baseball Classic final." The similarity in name of the two venues is due to the fact that the Rangers retained the same corporate sponsor in spite of the move: the Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company secured naming rights for the new ballpark through 2048.

The ballpark is designed by the firm HKS and features a retractable roof, but also, in a very rare design decision for a modern ballpark, artificial turf. Construction costs were estimated at $1.1 billion. The architecture took inspiration from local landmarks, such as the historic missions of the San Antonio, TX area. The exterior is covered in specially-designed bricks produced by a company in nearby Fort Worth, TX. Seating capacity is around 40,000. Reviews about the ballpark's looks have been mixed, with some comparing it to a "giant Wallmart" or a roasting pan.

The ballpark was scheduled to be first used on March 31, 2020, the Rangers' home opener against the Los Angeles Angels, but this was pushed back by Major League Baseball's decision to delay the opening of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic. A country music concert scheduled for March 14th, coinciding with the completion of construction, was slated to be the first public event in the venue and was scheduled to be preceded by a ribbon-cutting ceremony, but it was also postponed. Thus, the first regular season game was the Rangers' delayed season opener on July 24th and was played without any spectators present, given health and safety protocols put in place because of the pandemic. It was preceded by two exhibition games between the Rangers and Colorado Rockies on July 20th and July 21st, the same two teams that met on opening day. On May 29th, the ballpark had hosted a large high school graduation ceremony, its large dimensions allowing the event to be organized while maintaining a safe distance between participants, an important consideration in the middle of a pandemic; this became the first public event of any kind at the new facility.

On September 15th, Major League Baseball announced that the ballpark had been selected as one of four neutral sites that would hold postseason series. It would serve as a venue for one of the two National League Division Series, for the National League Championship Series, and for the 2020 World Series, the idea being to limit travel and create a secure virtual bubble around the participating teams in these series.

The field's dimensions are unexceptional, but the delineation of the outfield fence is unusual, as it is composed of a series of straight lines meeting at jagged angles and creating a number of unexpected corners, as if it had been patched together from broken pieces.

Further Reading[edit]

  • John Henry: "Rangers reveal Globe Life Field renderings: Construction details laid out for venue, which opens in 2020", mlb.com, March 7, 2019. [1]
  • Quinn Roberts: "Rangers' new park dubbed Globe Life Field: Naming rights will be extended through 2048", mlb.com, August 24, 2017. [2]
  • T.R. Sullivan: "Rangers' new ballpark opening delayed", mlb.com, March 12, 2020. [3]



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