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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fields of Dreams: Globe Life Park - Arlington, Texas

Globe Life Park is the home of the Texas Rangers and replaced the now demolished Arlington Stadium.  It sits west of Dallas in the suburb of Arlington near AT&T Stadium, where the NFL Dallas Cowboys play.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia
Mike Fitzpatrick under CC BY 2.0 license.

The Rangers started life the same year as me, 1961, in Washington, DC as The Senators. They replaced another team called "The Senators," who moved to Minneapolis and became The Twins. 10 years later, they moved to Texas and became the Rangers, playing in, what was then, a minor league stadium that was expanded along the way to a capacity of over 40,000.

Still, it was not a stadium fitting a major league team.

The city of Arlington passed a sales tax to fund the majority of the new stadium's cost and, on April Fool's Day in 1994, the Rangers played their first game at what was then known as The Ballpark in Arlington.  Naming rights deals led us to today where it is now known as Globe Life Park. One notable stop along the way was when it was known as Enron Field until that energy company collapsed into scandal.

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The Rangers have not been a big powerhouse in their history but that all changed in the last few years as they won the American League Pennant and appeared in in two back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011. They lost to the Giants and then the Cardinals.

Notable names on today's roster include third baseman Adrian Beltre, ace pitchers Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels, and infielders Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor. 

Here are the stats…
Year opened: 1994
Surface: Latitude 36 Bermuda Grass
Construction cost: $191 million
Capacity:  48,114
Field dimensions: Left field – 332 ft.; left center – 404 ft.; Center field – 400 ft.; right center – 407 ft.;  Right field – 377 ft.
Home team: Texas Rangers, 1994 - Present
Events attended: one game

Globe Life Park does not seem like a large stadium when you’re inside, it feels about as big as the stadium in Cincinnati.   The staff and fans are very welcoming and become temporary friends for a few hours.  It’s know as a hitter-friendly park despite the long distance to center field.
The seating bowl features three larger decks and a small level of suites.  It can get very hot here in the summer and the design includes a lot of overhang for shade. This has the negative effect of a lot of view obstruction if you're sitting high in the first deck. There are also a lot of poles for support that adds to the obstructions.

Contrastingly, the stadium is also very drafty and, on those occasions when it does cool down, the chill can be hard to take if you're not prepared.

Wheelchair seating is adequately spread out through the stadium although the premium seats in the lower deck have the obstructions noted above. You'll get better views in the cheaper seats in the outfield or upper deck. The companion seats are also cramped, my knees were pushing into the seat in front of me.

Also, there was no way to get to the seats without waiting for an elevator. No ramps to get there and a bit of confusion on how to get there.

Wheelchair seating is very easy to get via the online ticketing system at or you can call (972) RANGERS.

Hot dogs here are good.  Very good. There is also 2-foot long dogs that go through various permutations (thunderdog, tamale dog, kimchi dog etc.) but at $27 (in 2017) we found it was a better deal to just get the regular jumbo dogs (foot long, thick, and a bun to match) at $9.

The beer selection is huge here, it's a bit expensive. Popular was one stand of craft brews where you could get your beer in a souvenir moonshine jar.

Public transportation to the park is very poor. Arlington has no public transportation to games but several hotels in the area provide wheelchair accessible shuttles to the game for their guest. Walking here from nearby hotels is also not an option due to the lack of sidewalks. The area seems more like a business park than an entertainment district and vast parking lots surround the stadium.

It's not a bad stadium but there are a lot of missed opportunities here whether or not you're in a wheelchair.  Notable is that a new stadium is scheduled to be built down the street in a couple of years at the end of an entertainment zone that is under construction. AT&T Stadium will be at one end and the new Rangers stadium will be at the other.

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Darryl Musick
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Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2017 - All Rights Reserved

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