There are few silver linings in the indefinitely delayed start to the 2020 MLB season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but one of them is definitely that the eventual first real event with fans there will likely be a legitimate regular season Rangers baseball game. Over two weeks ago, the new $1 billion-plus stadium was supposed to be opened with a concert from country acts Chris Stapleton and Willie Nelson. Then nine days later, the first baseball game was supposed to be an exhibition game between the Rangers and the Cardinals, then the next day another exhibition between the Rangers and their best minor league players. Finally on March 31st, a regular season baseball game was scheduled. The fourth event at the stadium — it doesn’t seem right.
That magical home opener isn’t happening today and won’t be anytime soon. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s just the ultimate truth in this time of so much unknown. So on the day that we were supposed to be walking the expanded concourses of our new baseball palace for the first time, we gathered to share our past and present feelings about the new Globe Life Field.
Having seen the more or less final product in pictures posted to social media, what do you think of the finished version of Globe Life Field?
Darien Clark: I miss sports, but more than anything right now, the delay of Opening Day hurts the most. Beyond that, the debut of our new, beautiful ballpark is on hold as well, which makes it that much worse. I personally love the finished version of the field, especially when the roof is open. It seriously has the feel for a normal outdoor game when the roof is open. With the amount of roof being retracted, it lets in a ton of light helping the true outdoor atmosphere. Apart from that, everything is so well done, from the nice clubs to the restaurants, to the improved chairs, to the subtle touches around the park with art and branding. It’s a sweet sweet feeling to have a new home for the Rangers, and I can’t wait to get out there for an actual game.
Garrett Jones: It’s obviously the right call to suspend the start of Major League Baseball’s 2020 season. That doesn’t make it any less disappointing that Texas isn’t taking the field at its new home stadium tonight. I’m a big fan of the final product. All I can focus on right now is how much it looks similar to other MLB parks. It mirrors Minute Maid Park in Houston- Astros fans have let Rangers fans hear it about that since its initial renderings- and even Marlins Park in Miami a bit. But with the roof closed, it bears a striking resemblance to Chase Field in Phoenix. It’s much more open with windows and varied seating in left and right field, but still looks almost the same with its lighting.
Patiently waiting. pic.twitter.com/wwhC6cRRmR
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) March 24, 2020
What’s one thing you’re most excited to check out once the gates are open again?
Darien: I am more than thrilled to see how the new concourses play out in real time. The views and open spacing is crucial to the game of baseball, so I believe this will be one of the best parts to the Globe Life Field experience. Aside from the concourses, I am really excited to go to the highest point to take it all in. Yes, at the sky deck with the rocking chairs. As a child, I grew up at The Ballpark in Arlington, so I can’t wait to raise my kids at the new Globe Life Field. A lot of time will be spent up in the sky deck with my kids.
Garrett: I’m of the opinion that stadium and arena concourses make or break a fan experience. Take Globe Life Park, for example. It wasn’t covered, wasn’t inside, and often times was hot and cramped, especially during summer games. At the American Airlines Center, it takes forever to ingress or egress from the building. Globe Life Field, on the other hand, has concourses that look impeccable, are indoors, and look spacious. It’s all in the details.
How have your feelings changed about the idea of a new Rangers stadium since it was first announced several years ago?
Darien: I was distraught at the decision at first to build a new stadium for the Rangers. For two reasons. One, it was a waste of money – we have a perfectly good, working stadium already and two, it definitely doesn’t need to be across the street. If the Rangers must have a new park, why not move it into downtown Dallas? Wouldn’t that be glorious? Since then, throughout the stadium’s construction, it has certainly blessed my eyeballs. I’m now on board for the new field. I’m instantly intrigued and I see how much of an investment this will be for the future of the club. I have two reasons for my turnaround: The months of July and August alone draws very small attendance numbers at the “old” stadium, so now with a roof, people will certainly be filling those seats with air conditioning chilling their sweat-free backs. On top of that, players will now have an extra level of attraction to playing in this city, for the same AC, sweat-free reasons. Can’t wait to watch a game live.
Garrett: At first, I was a staunch enemy to the idea of a new stadium. I had a deep sentimental attachment to Globe Life Park because I, like many Rangers fans and brass, grew up going to games there. Baseball is the most sentimental sport, so this is only natural. It was hard to let those feelings go, and say goodbye to such a beautiful park after a relatively short lifespan of 25 years- especially with is renovations in the 2010s. Since then, I’ve changed my stance. It was weird saying goodbye last year, but I am excited to see the intrigue around a new park. No matter what, there’s always a sense of intrigue and excitement for teams with a new park- think back to the 2018 Braves and 2012 Marlins for recent examples.
Let’s face it… the times have changed.
We had planned to show you this video of @GlobeLifeField's final touchups, but the timing didn’t feel right.
Ladies & gents, we now present to you the final construction episode EVER of our new home! pic.twitter.com/4jauAI9x3I
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) March 29, 2020
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