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  • Writer's pictureEric Moreno

Choctaw Stadium - Arlington Renegades


Photos by Eric Moreno, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86

Choctaw Stadium 1000 Ballpark Way Arlington, TX 76011


Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 48,114

 

Arlington Renegades – Choctaw Stadium

In 2020, WWE Owner and Chairman Vince McMahon relaunched the XFL, bringing a team to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Then the pandemic happened and the XFL, like much of the rest of the world, shut down. In 2023, Dwayne Johnson and his business partners relaunched the league and returned a team to north Texas with the Arlington Renegades.


The 2023 iteration of the Renegades will once again call Choctaw Stadium their home field. Formerly the home of MLB’s Texas Rangers until 2019, Choctaw Stadium (nee Globe Life Park, among other names) was retrofitted in 2020 for use for football and soccer.


As the XFL finds its footing, it seems to have found one of its anchor franchises in Arlington. Choctaw Stadium has also adapted well to this new sports chapter of its existence. Read on to learn more about the Renegades in north Texas.


Food & Beverage 4

When it comes to food and beverage choices, the options at Choctaw Stadium are above and beyond the norm. The stadium has carried over many of the options from its MLB days into its new existence, and this puts it on another level.

You can always find your typical game day options such as hot dogs (although gourmet options are offered as well), burgers, nachos, popcorn, soft pretzels, etc. There are numerous stands along the main concourse for these.


Fans can also opt for fish and chips, gussied up mac and cheese (Philly cheesesteak mac and cheese, for example), barbecue sandwiches (chicken, brisket, and pulled pork), ice cream and milkshakes, and quesadillas.

There are also lots of beer vendors and a couple of Irish pubs for those looking to imbibe some adult beverages.


Atmosphere 2

When it comes to atmosphere at XFL games, at least the ones I’ve attended so far, there is quite a bit of room for improvement across the league. While the stadium was, as mentioned, retrofitted to accommodate football, there are still tons of vestiges from its former baseball life present. It is, honestly, a little awkward.


There are team merchandise stands set out across the main concourse, and the Renegades have also taken advantage of using the physical team store. In addition they set up a DJ and video screen for fans in one of the end zones, but beyond that, there is not much else.

Neighborhood 4

When it comes to the neighborhood, Choctaw Stadium is in a prime spot. It is literally next door to the new Globe Life Field and lies in the shadow of AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. While (by design) the Cowboys season will be over by the time the Renegades begin play each season, the Rangers will be starting their season at the tail end of XFL play. So, there is a chance that you can double-dip on games when you visit Arlington.


What really works in Choctaw Stadium’s favor is the new entertainment district surrounding all the stadiums called Texas Live! This mixed-use area features restaurants, shopping, hotels, and additional entertainment options.


Dining options include numerous spots with local flare, including Troy’s, a high-end family eatery from Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. Also on-site is Pudge’s Pizza, a pizzeria from Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. There is also Guy Fieri’s Taco Joint and the Lockhart Smokehouse among your dining choices.


Texas Live! will also be home in the near future to the National Medal of Honor Museum, giving visitors one more option for things to do and see when they take in games at Choctaw Stadium. The museum will preserve and tell the stories of the select few service members to earn our nation’s highest military honor. It is under construction and is slated to open in the fall/winter of 2024.


The compound around Choctaw Stadium is also the site of the largest theme park in the state and its sister water park, Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. For fans of roller coasters, wave pools, costumed characters, and inner tubes, you can get passes for the day when you visit Arlington to take in a Renegades game.


For lodging, as mentioned, Texas Live! has options for that. The main option now is Live by Loews Arlington, which is on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of cost. On the lower end is Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Arlington/Entertainment District, which, while not within walking distance, is less than five minutes away.


Fans 3

The Renegades are currently drawing around 12,000 fans per game at Choctaw Stadium. That’s a pretty good number, especially with all the other options entertainment-wise that the Metroplex has to offer.


At the most recent game I attended there were a ton of fans sporting Renegades gear, both officially licensed and homemade varieties. The fans were engaged from the jump and were loud throughout the game (which honestly was a bit of a snooze fest). Despite the challenge of the on-field action, the fans never lost interest. They even got a wave going, which was honestly one of the better ones I’ve seen in recent years.


Access 3

The city of Arlington is just over a 20-minute drive from both Dallas and Fort Worth. It’s also a three-hour drive from Austin and just about four from both San Antonio and Houston. Choctaw Stadium is right around 15 minutes away from DFW International Airport (one of the largest and busiest in the United States) and just over 20 minutes away from Love Field Airport. Once there, parking is plentiful.


If you’re choosing not to drive to Renegades games, your options are a little limited outside of rideshare programs. There is a trolley service in the entertainment district that will shuttle you from spot to spot, including Choctaw Stadium. But however you choose to get there, Choctaw Stadium is easy to find.


Return on Investment 3

Single game tickets for the Arlington Renegades at Choctaw Stadium start at just $11 per person; this is the real bargain in the whole enterprise of attending a game. Parking, which again is plentiful, will run you between $20-$30 if you park in one of the designated lots around the stadium.

Concessions, while not exactly cheap, aren’t on the same pricing scale as they were when the Rangers were in the building. I think, however, if you’re a football fan this is still going to be far more cost effective than going to a game at nearby AT&T Stadium.


Extras 1

In terms of Extras there is not much offered up to fans at Renegades games – there are no cheerleaders nor mascots, and no effects like fireworks or pyro. The team has partnered with a local motorcycle club, and they do ride out before the team at the start of the game, though.


The lack of extras is all probably an effort to keep costs down for the XFL as a whole, but more will need to be done going forward. Football games are events and need to be presented as such.


Final Thoughts

If you’re a football fan, like I am, you’re hoping that the XFL is able to make it stick this time around. There is plenty of room for growth, both with the league overall and with the Renegades at Choctaw Stadium. The product overall will hopefully get better, but if you’re a football fan, you’ll be able to find enjoyment in it.

Follow Eric Moreno's Stadium Journey on Twitter at @EricMoreno6477.

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