The 2016 election has come and gone, and the Texas Rangers came out of it winners. No, they weren’t endorsing Donald Trump. On the ballot in Arlington, Texas was the proposal for a new stadium. After the polls closed and the dust settled, the Rangers new home was approved in a landslide. The vote comes seven years after the city voted on Cowboy Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The stadium will take place of Globe Life Park, the Rangers current home.
The History of Globe Life Park
The Rangers began construction on Globe Life Park in April of 1992. From that time, it took two years to complete. On April 11, 1994 the team played the first regular season game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Over the years, the stadium has undergone many name changes. In 2004, the Ballpark in Arlington became known as Ameriquest Field. Then, in 2007, the name changed again to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Seven years later, in 2014, it finally got it’s current name, Globe Life Park in Arlington. Some fans wonder if it will change again before the new stadium is complete.
The Best and Worst of the Ballpark
Many fans love the ballpark. Some consider the stadium one of the worst in baseball. This is due to the summer heat sometimes reaching 110 degrees. Accidents have also haunted the ballpark. During the first game in 1994, a fan fell 35 feet, causing the team to raise the railings around the stadium. In 2010, another fan attempting to catch a foul ball fell 30 feet. The most notorious accident came in 2011. Josh Hamilton, attempting to give a dad and son a memory of a lifetime, tossed a ball into the stands. The father reached over the railing to catch the ball. He fell 20 feet, landing headfirst. The accident resulted in his death. The Ranger again raised their railings around in front of the seating areas.
Although there were many bad times, the stadium has also had it’s magical moments. It hosted Kenny Rodgers‘ perfect game against the now-Los Angeles Angels in 1994. The game was an amazing performance by Rodgers. But the highlight of the game was the catch by Rusty Greer that kept the perfect game intact. The 1995 All-Star Game was also held there. In 1997, the first interleague game was played against the San Francisco Giants. The 2010 and 2011 World Series were also played at Globe Life Park. Even though they lost both years, those were a couple of magical postseasons for the team and fans.
The good news for Globe Life Park and its fans is that the city plans to re-purpose the facility. While it hasn’t been announced officially, it is nice to know that they will not be tearing the beautiful structure down.
The New Stadium
In May of this year, the Rangers unveiled plans for a new ballpark. All that stood between the plans and reality were the citizens of Arlington. The organization needed the citizens to pick up half of the $1 billion tab. On election night, the citizens showed that they were more than willing to do that. With the vote now passed, the Rangers are committed to the City of Arlington. They will be there until the year 2053, which would be the team’s 82nd season.
The stadium should be ready for the 2021 season, but if things go well it could be ready for play in the 2020 season. The new ballpark will have a smaller seating capacity, but will have new features. One of those features is a retractable roof. Also connected to the stadium will be a complex filled with shops and restaurants for fans to enjoy before, during, and after the game.
They say everything is bigger in Texas. The City of Arlington proved that to be true when Cowboy Stadium became a reality. If it is any indication, the new Rangers ballpark will be top of the line. It will also be very extravagant. But hey, how can fans survive without air-conditioning at the ballpark?