Globe Life Park in Arlington

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Globe Life Park in Arlington
The Ballpark in Arlington,
The Temple,[1] The Globe
Globe Life Park logo.jpg
Ballpark in Arlington May 2009.jpg
Globe Life Park in Arlington
Former names The Ballpark in Arlington (1994–2004)
Ameriquest Field in Arlington (2004–2006)
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (2007–2013)
Globe Life Park in Arlington (2014–)
Location 1000 Ballpark Way
Arlington, Texas 76011
Coordinates 32°45′5″N 97°4′58″W / 32.75139°N 97.08278°W / 32.75139; -97.08278Coordinates: 32°45′5″N 97°4′58″W / 32.75139°N 97.08278°W / 32.75139; -97.08278
Public transit Collins Street at Andrews Street
Owner Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority
Operator Rangers Baseball Express
Capacity 48,114[2]
Record attendance 52,419
Field size 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)
Surface Infield: Y2 Zoysiagrass
Outfield: Tifway 419 Bermudagrass
Construction
Broke ground April 2, 1992
Opened April 1, 1994
Construction cost $191 million
($304 million in 2014 dollars[3])
Architect David M. Schwarz Architectural Services, Inc.
HKS, Inc. (architect of record)
Structural engineer Walter P Moore/Datum[4]
Services engineer M–E Engineers, Inc./Dunn Consulting[5]
General contractor Manhattan Construction Company
Tenants
Texas Rangers (MLB) (1994–present)

Globe Life Park in Arlington is a stadium in Arlington, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth. It is home to the American League's Texas Rangers, and the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame. It was constructed as a replacement for nearby Arlington Stadium. It was known as The Ballpark in Arlington until May 7, 2004, when Ameriquest bought the naming rights to it and renamed it Ameriquest Field in Arlington. On March 19, 2007, the Rangers severed their relationship with Ameriquest and announced that it would be renamed Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. On February 5, 2014, Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company bought the naming rights to it. Globe Life is owned by Torchmark Corporation, which is based in McKinney, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas.[6]

History[edit]

Funding was approved for a new home for the Rangers in 1991 by the City of Arlington. Construction began on April 2, 1992 a short distance away from Arlington Stadium, the stadium it would replace, and the new Ballpark in Arlington opened on April 1, 1994 in an exhibition contest between the Rangers and the New York Mets. The first official game was on April 11 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The largest crowd to watch a Rangers baseball game was on October 30, 2010, when 52,419 fans watched Game 3 of the 2010 World Series against the San Francisco Giants.

Features[edit]

Design[edit]

Park by the Home Plate Entrance at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The stadium 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.[7] 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 it. A four-story office building in center field encloses it, with a white steel multilevel facade similar to the facade on the roof.

As the stadium 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 stadium'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.[8]

The stadium 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 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[edit]

Globe Life Park in Arlington in 2006, with Greene's Hill in center field

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. It was originally designed as a picnic area for fans but the Rangers have never initiated this policy. It 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 it with giant Texas state flags when the Rangers scored, similar to what many football teams do when their teams score.

Seating capacity[edit]

  • 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)[9]
  • 48,114 (2013–present)[2]

The stadium contains 5,704 club seats and 126 luxury suites.

Field dimensions[edit]

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.[10]

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 Rangers' 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.[11]

Dimensions[12]

  • Left Field: 332 feet
  • Left Center Field: 390 feet
  • Center Field: 400 feet
  • Right Center Field: 377 feet
  • Right Field: 325 feet

Lack of retractable roof[edit]

The Ballpark during the day

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.[13]

That being said, it is questionable that retractable roof technology was a good candidate at the time the stadium 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 it.

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, it 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, it feels like any other dimly-lit echo chamber. Mildly depressing". It had a C$570 million price tag, 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. Its 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 Globe Life Park in Arlington.[14]

Many local sports writers in recent years have suggested adding a roof but the idea has not found any traction within the Rangers organization.

Renovations[edit]

The new HD screen on top of the right field porch

On December 3, 2010, the Rangers announced that extensive renovations to the stadium would be made and ready for the 2011 season.[15] 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 out-of-town 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 stadium 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 stadium.
  • An IPTV system that can display live television content on ten HDTV channels to any display in the stadium.
Panoramic shot of Globe Life Park in Arlington taken February 1, 2003.

Accidents[edit]

1994[edit]

On April 11, 1994, the first game at the ballpark, Holly 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.[16]

2010[edit]

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.[17] The game was stopped for 15 minutes while paramedics treated him.[18]

2011[edit]

On July 7, 2011, firefighter Shannon Stone, from Brownwood, Texas, was attending the Rangers game against the Oakland Athletics with his six-year-old son, Cooper, when outfielder Josh Hamilton threw him a ball, as he had asked.[16] Reaching for it, he flipped over the railing and fell twenty feet, head-first, onto the concrete behind the out-of-town scoreboard in left field.[16] He was conscious and talking as paramedics tended to him, but he died en route to the hospital.[19] The cause of death was identified as blunt force trauma.[20] This was the fourth fall in the stadium's 17 years of history.[21] A moment of silence was held for him 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 him.[20] The Rangers Foundation set up a memorial fund for Stone's family.[22]

A tarp was placed over the opening through which Stone fell.[20] 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;[23] on July 20, 2011, the Rangers announced they would raise all railings in the front of seating sections to 42 inches.[24] On August 10, 2011, the team announced it would erect a statue memorializing Stone.[25] Cooper helped unveil the statue on April 5, 2012. It depicts him and his father 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".

On September 30, 2011, Cooper threw out the ceremonial first pitch to honor his father before Game 1 of the 2011 American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.[26][27]

Events hosted[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Newburg, Jamey. "Pacing". The Newburg Report. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Sullivan, T. R. (October 30, 2012). "Rangers Resume Fan-Focused Park Renovations". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Sports Projects – Datum Engineers
  5. ^ Walker Engineering – Sports & Entertainment
  6. ^ http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article/tex/rangers-rename-home-stadium-globe-life-park-in-arlington?ymd=20140205&content_id=67468960&vkey=news_tex
  7. ^ "Daktronics LED Technology to Light Up Rangers Ballpark in Arlington" (Press release). Daktronics. February 5, 2009. 
  8. ^ from David M. Schwarz/Architectural Services, ISBN 0-9679143-6-1
  9. ^ "Texas Rangers". Forbes. 
  10. ^ Pahigaian, Josh; O'Connell, Kevin (2004). The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press. ISBN 1-59228-159-1. 
  11. ^ "Home Run Statistics". ESPN. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Ballpark in Arlington". Baseball Statistics. QATD Internet Ventures. Retrieved October 21, 2011. 
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/09/24/brian-hutchinson-finally-b-c-place-is-a-retractable-roof-stadium-that-works/
  15. ^ "Texas Rangers to Make Significant Ballpark Upgrades for 2011". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Spousta, Tom; Zinser, Lynn (July 9, 2011). "Grief and Questions After Death at Ballpark". The New York Times. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Fan Falls From Deck at Texas Rangers Game". KDFW (Dallas). July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  18. ^ Cox, Chris (July 6, 2010). "Fan Falls From Stands at Rangers Ballpark". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  19. ^ Sullivan, T. R. (July 8, 2011). "Rangers Return to Work in Wake of Tragedy". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b c Barzilai, Peter (July 10, 2011). "Rangers Ballpark Inspected; Josh Hamilton Recounts Incident". USA Today. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Texas Rangers Baseball Fan Dies in Plunge from Seat". BBC News. July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  22. ^ Sullivan, T. R. (July 8, 2011). "Rangers Express Regret, Support for Family of Fan". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  23. ^ Slusser, Susan (July 8, 2011). "Fan's Death Weighs Heavy on A's, Rangers Players". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  24. ^ Associated Press (July 20, 2011). "After Fan Death, Texas Rangers to Raise Railing Heights at Ballpark". USA Today. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  25. ^ Durrett, Richard (September 30, 2011). "Cooper Stone to Throw Out First Pitch". ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  26. ^ Levine, Zachary (September 30, 2011). "Fan Whose Father Died at Game Throws Out First Pitch". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  27. ^ Cooper Stone First Pitch: Rangers Open MLB Playoff Game With Throw From Son Of Shannon Stone (VIDEO)
  28. ^ DFW Muscle Walk - Muscular Dystrophy Association (accessed June 7, 2014)

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Arlington Stadium
Home of the Texas Rangers
1994 – present
Succeeded by
Current
Preceded by
Three Rivers Stadium
Host of the All-Star Game
1995
Succeeded by
Veterans Stadium