ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's been over three years since the Texas Rangers first announced the plans for construction on a new ballpark. Now, the team's vision is finally coming to life.
An era is coming to a close this week at Globe Life Park. After 26 seasons, a new page will be turned next season with the Rangers moving across the street to a new (and similarly named) ballpark. With the future home of the Rangers, Globe Life Field, 78 percent completed, I traveled to Arlington to get the lowdown on what to expect in the new venue, as well as the new offerings in the nearby Arlington area. The new stadium is on track to open in March 2020, in time for the entirety of the season.
Here's everything you need to know:
At the ballpark
- The new 1.7 million square foot ballpark will include a retractable roof and air-conditioning around the entire concourse, providing added comfort for fans during the hot summer months in the Lone Star State. The seating capacity at Globe Life Field is expected to be approximately 40,300, not including any standing room ticketed guests. The Rangers opted for a more intimate seating bowl, bringing fans as close as possible to the action on the field.
- Fans on the lower concourse at Globe Life Field will be seven inches closer to home plate than those at the old stadium. On the main concourse, it's 14 inches closer to the field. And from the upper concourse, fans will be 23 inches closer.
- Globe Life Field, designed by HKS, Inc. and built by Manhattan Construction Company, will also include capabilities for hosting high school, college and international sports as well as entertainment tours. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said during the official Globe Life Field groundbreaking ceremony in 2017 that he hopes to see an All-Star Game and the finals of the World Baseball Classic played some day at the new ballpark. The original Globe Life Park hosted the 1995 All-Star Game in its second year of existence.
- MLB foodies will be excited to learn that the Rangers' over-the-top ballpark concession offerings will continue at the new ballpark, thanks to the continued partnership with food, beverage and retail company Delaware North Sportservice. In 2019, the Rangers made headlines for their two-pound .
- Globe Life Field's retractable roof -- a steel roof covered with the highly transparent and lightweight ETFE plastic polymer -- will include five retractable roof trusses, to complete the 5.5 acre roof. The estimated time for the roof to open and close is 12-15 minutes.
Around the ballpark
In the meantime, fans have the opportunity to check out some of the new attractions in the heart of Arlington's revitalized entertainment district. One of which happens to be right next door to Globe Life Field. The Texas Live! dining, entertainment and hospitality complex is nestled between the Texas Rangers' Globe Life Field and the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.
At Texas Live!, you can dine at restaurants named for Troy Aikman and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez along with plenty of other options, with cuisines ranging from Mexican to Texas BBQ. Texas Live! also features Arlington Backyard, an outdoor concert venue with views of AT&T Stadium, and PBR Texas, the flagship Professional Bull Riding bar which features two mechanical bulls. The space is certainly not lacking in food, drinks or TVs, and it's designed for sports fans, music lovers and foodies alike.
Similar developments to Texas Live! include the entertainment complexes next to the Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Baltimore and Philadelphia also boast entertainment venues, each not too far from Camden Yards and Citizens Bank Park.
If your vibe is a bit more on the low-key side, then Urban Union is a great option. A five-minute drive from Globe Life, Urban Union is an area that now includes Legal Draft Beer Company, a craft beer brewery as well as a boutique bakery, tiki bar lounge, taco shop and a gastropub. In time for the Rangers home opener in 2020, Urban Union will welcome Hurtado Barbecue, a Mexican-inspired food truck that is going brick and mortar.
This past August, Arlington welcomed the 300-suite Live! By Loews Arlington luxury hotel and resort. The 14-story hotel offers access to everything that's nearby, including Globe Life Field.
The Rangers final games at Globe Life Park will take place on Sept. 24-Sept. 29, with three-game series against both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. When the Rangers and Yankees open the final series on Friday, Sept. 27, they'll be a video shown during Friday's post-game fireworks to show of the best moments at Globe Life Park. Saturday's game will feature a special ceremony to turn out the field's lights for the final time as well as musical surprise guests.
After the final game at Globe Life Park on Sunday, returning members of the Rangers Globe Life Park Era All-Time Team will be introduced at their respective positions on the field. Then, the Rangers will dig up home plate at Globe Life Park and move it across the street for a ceremonial installation at the new Globe Life Field. The ceremony will replicate the event from Oct. 3, 1993, when home plate made the move from Arlington Stadium to Globe Life Park.