The Texas Rangers have been quiet in recent seasons. When they acquire great new players, they generally let them go in hopes of rebuilding. The team is in need of a reset, and in a sense, they got one. Globe Life Field, an immensely expensive new stadium, is the Rangers’ latest home.
It was controversial from the start, requiring massive public funding to get off the ground. Initial mockups were eye-catching. Then, reality struck.
The striking look of the Texas Rangers’ new stadium
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The Rangers spent $50 million upgrading the old Globe Life during the 2010s, according to Ballparks of Baseball. The aging stadium was holding up, but the team pressed their community to help build an entirely new one. More seats, modern amenities, and most crucially, a cutting-edge design.
The fully roofed model is a crucial concept for any team sportscasting.com/nolan-ryan-pummeled-robin-ventura-on-this-day-in-baseball-history/. In early mockups, as seen in the Chicago Tribune, the park has an unconventional but pleasing design. Most of the community pushback was related to the price tag, rather than the design.
The facade is a pleasingly deep blue hue, mostly clear glass. It almost looks like the kind of building that would house a refreshing pool — great associations for a massive building in a notably hot state. Even the brick building to the side has a massive bluish window taking up most of one side. Reality, unfortunately, has a habit of swerving against expectations.
The hilarious fan reactions to Globe Life Field
Somewhere along the way, materials changed somewhat. The less-than-ideal lighting conditions of a clear day in Texas probably factored in, too. When the new Globe Life Field was unveiled, the social media reaction was revulsion, as cataloged in this hilarious USA Today piece.
Chicago-based sportswriter Kevin Kaduk said, “it looks like a warehouse for road salt.” Former Deadspin editor Barry Petchesky dubbed the new stadium “Cybertruck the ballpark,” referencing Tesla’s bizarre experimental vehicle. It’s hard to imagine Josh Hamilton playing in this version of Globe Life, to say the least.
Yet baseball will be played here, starting with the pandemic-delayed home opener on July 24th. Events have already been hosted in the space, including a socially-distanced mass graduation ceremony. It looks like Rangers fans will have to get used to being the butt of a lot of jokes when those overhead introductory shots introduce games at the homely ballpark before every game. Globe Life is here to stay.
The immense cost of building a controversial eyesore
Forbes notes that the full cost of the stadium was $1.1 billion. Some of that will be offset by the ability to host football games in the all-purpose space. The profits will go directly to the owners of the Rangers, who foot over half the bill themselves.
The other half comes from the people of Arlington. The city issued $500 million in bonds, according to the Dallas Morning News, to keep the Rangers’ eye from wandering to another locale. There are a bevy of taxes associated with these bonds: a sales tax, hotel occupancy tax, rental car tax, ticket tax, and finally a parking tax will pay off the bill across 30 years.
For Rangers fans in particular, the new park has some concerns for the actual game of baseball, as well. The multipurpose design means less baseball-specific advantages. The team informed the Star-Telegram that they weren’t sure whether the larger space would help hitters or pitchers.
They’re not wrong to play it safe here, considering actual play is the only way to truly know. But in other parks this big, fielding balls is tough. Hopefully, once actual games start, the joy of baseball during this difficult year will make all the worries about Globe Life Park fade away.