Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
|Rangers Ballpark in Arlington|
The Ballpark in Arlington
|Former names||The Ballpark in Arlington (1994–2004)
Ameriquest Field in Arlington (2004–2007)
|Location||1000 Ballpark Way
Arlington, Texas 76011
|Broke ground||April 2, 1992|
|Opened||April 1, 1994|
|Owner||Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority|
|Operator||Rangers Baseball Express|
|Surface||Infield: Y2 Zoysiagrass
Outfield: Tifway 419 Bermudagrass
|Construction cost||$191 million
($301 million in 2013 dollars)
|Architect||David M. Schwarz Architectural Services, Inc.
HKS, Inc. (architect of record)
|Structural engineer||Walter P Moore/Datum|
|Services engineer||M–E Engineers, Inc./Dunn Consulting|
|General contractor||Manhattan Construction Company|
|Field dimensions||Left Field Line – 332 feet (101 m)
Left Center – 390 feet (119 m)
Deep Left Center – 404 feet (123 m)
Center Field – 400 feet (122 m)
Deep Right Center – 407 feet (124 m)
Right Center – 377 feet (115 m)
Right Field Line – 325 feet (99 m)
Backstop – 60 feet (18 m)
|Texas Rangers (MLB) (1994–present)|
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is a ballpark in Arlington, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. It was known as The Ballpark in Arlington until May 7, 2004, when Ameriquest bought the naming rights to the ballpark and renamed it Ameriquest Field in Arlington. On March 19, 2007, the Texas Rangers severed their relationship with Ameriquest and announced that the stadium would be named Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
The stadium contains 5,704 club seats and 126 luxury suites.
Funding was approved for a new home for the Texas Rangers in 1991 by the City of Arlington. Construction began on April 2, 1992 a short distance away from Arlington Stadium, the ballpark it would replace, and the new Ballpark in Arlington was opened on April 1, 1994 in an exhibition contest between the Texas Rangers and the New York Mets. The first official game was on April 11 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Ballpark was designed by David M. Schwarz Architectural Services of Washington, D.C. The Rangers chose to build a retro-style ballpark, incorporating many features of baseball's Jewel Box parks. A roofed home run porch in right field is reminiscent of Tiger Stadium, while the white steel frieze that surrounds the upper deck was copied from the pre-1973 Yankee Stadium. The out-of-town scoreboard (removed in 2009 and replaced with a state-of-the-art videoboard) was built into the left-field wall—a nod to Fenway Park, while the numerous nooks and crannies in the outfield fence are a reminder of Ebbets Field. The arched windows are a reminder of Comiskey Park. However, it has a few distinct features of its own. Several traditional Texas-style stone carvings are visible throughout the park. A four-story office building in center field encloses the park, with a white steel multilevel facade similar to the facade on the roof.
As the ballpark was built on one of the former Arlington Stadium parking lots, the irregular dimensions of the outfield were planned independently, rather than being forced by neighboring structures. The home plate, foul poles, and bleachers were originally at Arlington Stadium. The Home Plate was inserted into place by Richard Greene (then Mayor of Arlington), Elzie Odom (Head of Arlington Home Run Committee and later Mayor of Arlington), and George W. Bush (former part Rangers owner, later Texas Governor and President of the United States).
The Ballpark's 810-foot (250 m)-long facades are made of brick and Texas Sunset Red granite. Bas-relief friezes depict significant scenes from the history of both Texas and baseball. The calculus of seating arrangements represented a new economic model for the sport: a critical mass of high-dollar seats close to the infield boost ticket revenue. The stadium has three basic seating tiers: lower, club and upper deck. Two levels of luxury suites occupy spaces behind sliding glass doors above and below the club tier.
The park has a large number of obstructed-view seats. In some cases, the view is cut off by an overhang or underhang, and others are directly in front of the foul poles or support poles. Also, the design of the upper deck leaves it one of the highest in baseball. The view from the grandstand reserved sections in left is particularly obstructed.
Prior to the 2012 season, the visitor bullpen was reconfigured to be parallel to the field after the previous visitor bullpen configuration had excessive amount of heat during hot weather games. To allow construction, a few rows of bleacher sections were removed.
Greene's Hill is a sloped section of turf located behind the center field fence at the home field of the ballpark. The Hill serves as a batter's eye, providing a contrasting background behind the pitchers which enables hitters to more easily see the baseball after the pitcher's release. "Greene's Hill" was originally designed as a picnic area for fans but the Rangers have never initiated this policy. The hill was named after former Arlington mayor, Richard Greene in November 1997. For a couple of years in the 2000s, the Rangers had the "T" from the Texas Rangers logo mowed into the grass, but this is no longer done. In 2010, the Rangers started a tradition where they had four girls run around on Greene's Hill with giant flags when the Rangers scored, similar to what many football teams do when their teams score.
- 49,292 (1994–1995)
- 49,178 (1996)
- 49,166 (1997–1999)
- 49,115 (2000–2005)
- 48,911 (2006–2008)
- 49,170 (2009–2011)
- 48,194 (2012)
- 48,114 (2013–present)
The field is one of the most notoriously hitter-friendly parks in baseball, due to the high temperatures, relatively short fences, and the design of the stadium which has allowed the area's high winds to swirl and lift balls that wouldn't normally make it out. In truth, the park would give up even more home runs if not for the office building in center and the field being 22 feet (6.7 m) below street level.
With a combination of the park's design and the naturally good hitters who've played for the Rangers, the team has put up some rather high home run totals. In 1996, the Rangers hit 221 homers. They eclipsed 200 again in 1998 (201), 1999 (230), 2001 (241), 2002 (230), 2003 (239), 2004 (227), and 2005 (260, four short of the all-time record of 264 by the 1997 Seattle Mariners). Many of the Ranger's already-skilled hitters take advantage of this, some even racking up multiple 30+ Home run seasons, such as Ian Kinsler, Adrián Beltré, and Josh Hamilton.
- Left Field: 332 feet
- Left-Center Field: 390 feet
- Center Field: 400 feet
- Right-Center Field: 381 feet
- Right Field: 325 feet
Lack of retractable roof
Despite being hailed as a wonderful venue in its infant years, articles in The Dallas Morning News began to suggest that the ballpark would have been better served by having a dome or retractable roof – much like Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros – due to the often oppressive heat that settles over Texas during baseball season, with temperatures on the field being in excess of 110 degrees. Many argue that the intense heat is a liability in attracting players, particularly starting pitchers.
That being said, it is questionable that retractable roof technology was a good candidate at the time the park was constructed, when modern mechanical retractable-roof ballparks like Chase Field, Safeco Field, Minute Maid Park, and Miller Park would not open until several years after the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
While retractable roof solutions did exist at the time, they had significant detractors. The Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), which opened in 1989, has a motorized retractable roof. Compared to newer retractable roof stadiums, the Rogers Centre has not been a success financially or aesthetically, with a sportswriter saying that the retractable roof "functions when called upon, but it’s ungainly. When it’s closed, Rogers Centre feels like any other dimly-lit echo chamber. Mildly depressing". The Rogers Centre had a C$570 million pricetag, being partially funded by the federal and provincial governments, the city of Toronto, as well as a consortium of corporations (though the Blue Jays now own the stadium, by way of parent company Rogers Communications). One reason for the extra funding sources was that it was a multipurpose venue, being used for a wide variety of sports, as well as conventions. The Rogers Centre's technology therefore would have been cost prohibitive to the Rangers, who did not have the benefit of those extra sources of funding, and where the total cost was well over six times that of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Many local sports writers in recent years have suggested adding a roof but the idea has not found any traction within the Rangers organization.
On December 3, 2010, the Rangers announced that extensive renovations to the ballpark would be made and ready for the 2011 season. These renovations included:
- New Daktronics HD video displays in right field (atop the Home Run Porch) and center field (on top of the office building).
- The scoreboard on the left field wall (which had been replaced prior to the 2009 season) also was updated with HD technology.
- The audio system throughout the park was completely overhauled, with new speakers and production equipment.
- A new 'Show Control System' which can display networked data such as videos, scores, and point-of-sale information anywhere in the park.
- An IPTV system that can display live television content on ten HDTV channels to any display in the park.
On April 11, 1994, the first game at the ballpark, Hollye Minter, who was posing for a picture while intoxicated, fell 35 feet over a railing in right field, fracturing several bones and causing the team to raise the height of the railings.
On July 6, 2010, firefighter Tyler Morris, leaning over the rail to catch a Nelson Cruz foul ball, fell 30 feet onto the section below him, causing a head injury and a severely sprained ankle to himself and minor injuries to fans he landed on. The game was stopped for 15 minutes while paramedics treated him.
On July 7, 2011, firefighter Lt. Shannon Stone, from Brownwood, Texas, was attending the Rangers game against the Oakland Athletics with his six-year-old son, Cooper Stone, when outfielder Josh Hamilton threw him a ball, as the father had asked. Reaching for the ball, Shannon Stone flipped over the railing and fell twenty feet, head-first, onto the concrete behind the out-of-town scoreboard in left field. Stone was conscious and talking as paramedics tended to him, but he died en route to the hospital. The cause of death was identified as blunt force trauma. This was the fourth fall in the stadium's 17 years of history. A moment of silence was held for Stone prior to the next day's game, both the Rangers and Athletics wore black ribbons on their uniforms, and the flags at the stadium were flown at half-staff in memory of Stone. The Rangers Foundation set up a memorial fund for Stone's family.
A tarp was placed over the opening through which Stone fell. Rangers team president Nolan Ryan said the height of the railings exceeds the requirement of the building codes but said the team would do "whatever it takes" to ensure the safety of the fans; on July 20, 2011, the Rangers announced they would raise all railings in the front of seating sections to 42 inches. On August 10, 2011, the team announced it would erect a statue memorializing Stone. Cooper helped unveil the statue on April 5, 2012. It depicts Shannon and Cooper wearing baseball caps. They are holding hands and looking at each other as if they were talking. The inscription on the statue reads "In memory of Shannon Stone and dedicated to all fans who love the game".
- Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was the site of the 1995 MLB All-Star Game.
- Rangers Ballpark hosted the first regular season interleague game on June 12, 1997, when the Rangers played the San Francisco Giants.
- Scenes from Disney's The Rookie were shot here.
- Rangers Ballpark hosted the 2002 and the 2004 Big 12 Baseball Tournament.
- The first postseason game won by the Rangers at Rangers Ballpark would come in Game 2 of the 2010 ALCS by a score of 7–2 over the Yankees, on October 16, 2010.
- On October 22, 2010, the Rangers clinched their first ever American League pennant at the ballpark after a 6–1 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, getting the third out in the ninth from former Ranger Alex Rodriguez.
- It hosted Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2010 World Series, the San Francisco Giants won the final two games to win the series in five games.
- It hosted Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2011 World Series, with the Rangers winning 2 of 3 home games, but losing Game 6 and 7 to the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis. This was part of three sporting championships to take place in Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in the same year, along with the 2011 Super Bowl, and the 2011 NBA Finals.
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2013. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Sports Projects – Datum Engineers
- Walker Engineering – Sports & Entertainment
- Sullivan, T. R. (October 30, 2012). "Rangers Resume Fan-Focused Park Renovations". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- "Daktronics LED Technology to Light Up Rangers Ballpark in Arlington" (Press release). Daktronics. February 5, 2009.
- from David M. Schwarz/Architectural Services, ISBN 0-9679143-6-1
- "Texas Rangers". Forbes.
- Pahigaian, Josh; O'Connell, Kevin (2004). The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press. ISBN 1-59228-159-1.
- "Home Run Statistics". ESPN. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "The Ballpark in Arlington". Baseball Statistics. QATD Internet Ventures. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
- "If Rangers Can't Curb Ballpark Heat, They'll Likely Lose Ace Cliff Lee". The Dallas Morning News. August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
- "Texas Rangers to Make Significant Ballpark Upgrades for 2011". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
- Spousta, Tom; Zinser, Lynn (July 9, 2011). "Grief and Questions After Death at Ballpark". The New York Times. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
- "Fan Falls From Deck at Texas Rangers Game". KDFW (Dallas). July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
- Cox, Chris (July 6, 2010). "Fan Falls From Stands at Rangers Ballpark". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
- Sullivan, T. R. (July 8, 2011). "Rangers Return to Work in Wake of Tragedy". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Barzilai, Peter (July 10, 2011). "Rangers Ballpark Inspected; Josh Hamilton Recounts Incident". USA Today. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- "Texas Rangers Baseball Fan Dies in Plunge from Seat". BBC News. July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Sullivan, T. R. (July 8, 2011). "Rangers Express Regret, Support for Family of Fan". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Slusser, Susan (July 8, 2011). "Fan's Death Weighs Heavy on A's, Rangers Players". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Associated Press (July 20, 2011). "After Fan Death, Texas Rangers to Raise Railing Heights at Ballpark". USA Today. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- Durrett, Richard (September 30, 2011). "Cooper Stone to Throw Out First Pitch". ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- Levine, Zachary (September 30, 2011). "Fan Whose Father Died at Game Throws Out First Pitch". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- Cooper Stone First Pitch: Rangers Open MLB Playoff Game With Throw From Son Of Shannon Stone (VIDEO)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.|
- Stadium site on texasrangers.com
- Ballpark Digest visit to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
- Ballparks.com Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Page
- Rangers Ballpark in Arlington's Official history at Rangers site
- Google Maps Aerial View of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
- USGS aerial of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
|Events and tenants|
|Home of the Texas Rangers
1994 – present
Three Rivers Stadium
|Host of the All-Star Game