New home, opening in 2020, will be first 'next-generation' ballpark
By Sam Butler
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have taken the next step in preparing for the 2020 opening of their new ballpark, Globe Life Field, by unveiling updated renderings, illustrations and models on Thursday.
Rangers team officials and representatives from HKS Inc. -- the architect in charge of the park's design -- presented and explained the elements and features behind it, saying it will be the first "next-generation" ballpark.
Globe Life Field will seat approximately 41,000 fans and be directly adjacent to the Texas Live! entertainment plaza, which is currently under construction. Bryan Trubey, the lead architect for HKS, explained that among the chief goals were to include a sense of transparency and asymmetry so they incorporated a sort of connecting open-viewing theme throughout to allow fans to see directly into the field from the outside concourses and plaza.
It's similar to the environments behind Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, both of which HKS also designed.
"Everybody still talks about Camden Yards, which was finished in 1992," Trubey said. "With the exception of Globe Life Park, all the ballparks built since then have been more similar than they are different, and we think it's time for another transformation."
The park will have a retractable roof, which has been high on the list of desired features for players and fans who have to endure the sweltering Texas heat during the summer months.
Trubey demonstrated how the roof will retract to the west, so that if rain quickly approaches and they need to close it, the infield will be the first thing to get covered instead of the outfield, which is how most enclosed stadiums are designed. The roof itself will house a skylight, so even when it's closed, natural light will be able to indirectly filter into the stadium -- but it won't affect players' or fans' vision.
Creating an intimate environment was a goal as well. The roof won't be "intimidating," as Trubey put it, instead opting for a lower-profile, three-tier roof. The park will house the first known 360-degree, uninterrupted upper concourse, so as to eliminate obstructions between it and the field.
Seats will be situated closer to the playing surface, and Rob Matwick, the Rangers' executive vice president for baseball operations, said they're planning to install 14-foot-high netting that extends past the dugouts to protect fans from foul balls and stray bats. The playing surface will be 70 feet below ground level, so fans will be able to walk up from the outfield and see directly into the game.
The park will be 1.7 million square feet in size and take up 13 acres for a cost of $1.1 billion, which will be split evenly between the city of Arlington and the Rangers.
Groundbreaking for Globe Life Field will take place on Sept. 28, and Capital One is offering all Arlington residents four free tickets to that night's game against the Athletics. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Corner Box, Lower Reserved, Outfield Plaza, Lexus Club Terrace, Upper Box and Upper Reserved seating areas.
Arlington residents can redeem their free tickets by going to texasrangers.com/Arlington or by visiting the First Base Box Office at Globe Life Park. Proof of Arlington residency will be required both online and in-person.
Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.