Globe Life Field - Texas Rangers
Photos by David Welch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Globe Life Field 734 Stadium Drive Arlington, TX 76011
Year Opened: 2020 Capacity: 40,300
Globe Life Field – Texas Rangers
Many baseball purists say the game was meant to be played with green grass under your feet and the blue sky overhead. Ideally, this might be true, but whoever came up with that saying probably has never been to a baseball game in Texas in the summer.
Since moving to Arlington from Washington D.C. in 1972, the Rangers gave baseball in an open-air stadium a try on two separate occasions – first at Arlington Stadium, then again in 1994 with the opening of The Ballpark in Arlington, later named Globe Life Ballpark.
The difficulty both stadiums faced was the Texas heat; even in the late evening into the early night, it is stifling hot. With temperatures at first pitch routinely above 100 degrees, the time had come to move baseball indoors, or at least have the option to play in a climate-controlled environment.
Food & Beverage 5
As the saying goes, “Things are bigger in Texas.” The Rangers put this mantra into practice through several of their food options – one of the first superfoods offered at ballparks was the Boom Stick, a three-pound, two-foot-long hot dog covered with chili, nacho cheese, jalapenos, and caramelized onions.
This season the Rangers created a spin-off, the Boom Burger, which substitutes two feet of burger for the hot dog. Another creative hot dog is the Pizza Dawwg, a hot dog topped with marinara, mozzarella, and pepperoni, and baked to melt the cheese.
Other quality food and beverage choices can be found at Hurtado Barbecue, and the Michelada cart not only serves up two versions of the spicy Mexican drink but also shrimp and fish ceviche. Those looking for vegan options can choose from a full menu including vegan burgers, sandwiches, nachos, and chicken nuggets at the Visiting Vegan.
Globe Life Field also provides a platform for local restaurateurs to spotlight their menus at Arlington Eats. On a rotating basis, local restaurants serve up some of their signature dishes Friday through Sunday, and for select weekday games throughout the season.
Concessions prices are a bit high, but fans are getting a lot of food for what they are paying. Soft drinks include Coke products, along with PowerAde and Dasani for non-carbonated options.
When it comes to beer and alcohol, several full-service bars and beer carts around the stadium serve seltzers, wine, mixed drinks, and beer from both national brands and local brewing companies; Hopadillo Hazy IPA from Karbach Brewing Co. and Estrella Jalisco are two of the more popular choices.
The Karbach Skyporch hosts a happy hour on Fridays and Saturdays, where beers are served for $4 starting two hours before the first pitch. Needless to say, the lines then are long!
Overall, Globe Life Field stays true to its Texas roots, giving fans a taste of the local culinary culture, along with providing all the typical ballpark staples.
Globe Life Field uses a lot of metal, brick, and glass to create a minimalist feel to the stadium's exterior. There does not seem to be a lot that wows from a design standpoint, but it appears to be a simplistically attractive stadium.
There are several areas of interest around the stadium to check out before heading inside. Without a doubt, the most popular is the statue of Nolan Ryan just outside of the TXUenergy north entry. Fans line up to take photos with the statue of Ryan long before and long after the game. The north entry also features a mosaic that doubles as a water feature, which has a hidden tribute to Ryan built into it.
Most fans will enter the main concourse above the field-level seating bowl, and the first thing they will probably notice is that the temperature drops close to 30 degrees instantly. With temperatures that hover above 100s in the summer, inside the thermostat is kept at a comfortable mid-70s.
Not to disappoint purists who would prefer an open-air stadium, the roof is kept open when the temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees, the wind is below 20 mph, and there is no threat of bad weather. The Twitter account @GLFroof provides daily updates on the status of the roof.
When first laying eyes on the playing area, the large video board suspended high above the right field side of the field pops out as the center of in-game entertainment. Two other large videoboards are hung around the stadium also. A large, vertically hung auxiliary scoreboard in center field mostly provides information on the lineup, as does a third screen high above the party porch in left field.
Leading up to the first pitch, long-time public-address announcer Chuck Morgan makes his traditional announcement as umpires and managers wrap up their pre-game meeting – “Ladies and Gentlemen. It’s Baseball Time in Texas!” Morgan’s voice resonates as fans begin to cheer and the LED lights start to pulsate, in anticipation of the Rangers taking the field.
Throughout the game, the Rangers keep the game presentation simple, while still entertaining. There are a handful of fan contests between innings, but a majority of the entertainment during breaks in various fan cams with a rotating theme. Similar to Boston’s singing of Sweet Caroline, the Rangers Six-Shooters, the team’s spirit squad, leads fans in singing Deep in the Heart of Texas during the mid-inning break in the 5th inning.
Also, one of the most popular mid-inning pieces is the Dot Race, which started at Arlington Stadium and has continued as a Rangers tradition. There have been several incarnations of the Dot Race, but today it is run by three anthropomorphic dots, red, blue, and green, which has become immensely popular with fans. “As a reminder, this is an exhibition. No wagering, please.”
When it comes to where to sit at Globe Life Field, there are several seating options, with multiple club and premium choices. The field-level seating is only accessible to those who have tickets there – the drawback to this is some of the time-honored traditions, such as pre-game autographs or simple player interactions, are highly difficult if you are not ticketed for this area. It logistically makes sense. but is rather disappointing at the same time.
The best tickets for the price are those in the left field mezzanine level, in sections 136-140. At $32 the seats are close to the main entry, and provide unobstructed views of the field. However, for a bit more of a value ticket with full views of the field, seats in the 300 level from 307 around to 320 are $22 - $25, and seats in the middle of this area tend to provide unobstructed views.
The most obstructed views are in the seats down the left field line, blocked by the foul pole. Several fans also complain of obstructed views of the scoreboard in sections higher up along the third base side of the field, and toward left field in the lower level.
Globe Life Field is part of the larger entertainment district branded as Texas Live!, which sits directly across the street from the former Globe Life Ballpark, now Choctaw Stadium. Just to the west of Globe Life Field is AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Much like similar developments in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, Texas Live! Incorporates shopping, dining, and entertainment options for fans, just feet from the venue, including Guy Fieri’s Taco Joint, Pudge’s Pizza owned by Rangers legend Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, and Lockhart Smokehouse, to name a few. Unlike its counterparts in other parts of the country, Texas Live! does not seem to have the same buzz of pre and post-game activity, yet, when compared to the others.
The district around the stadium already includes the Loews hotel with nearly 900 rooms, while being completed are mixed-use residential spaces at One Rangers Way, including an office tower and a new Arlington convention center.
Texas Live! is not the only pregame point of interest in the area, however. If looking to make a full day of an outing to a Rangers game, Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor Waterpark are both within a mile and a half from Globe Life Field. Or, if theme parks and water slides are not your thing, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame are also within that 1.5-mile radius.
After seven years of sub-.500 baseball, attendance started to slide from the successes seen during the 2010s. However, the current upswing of the team has the Rangers filling their stadium to approximately 75% of its roughly 40,000-seat capacity.
Rangers fans are more than just into watching the game; they are loud and proud Texans. Fans are into the game situations and respond accordingly – two-strike counts and insurance runs are met with increased enthusiasm from fans. Globe Life Field is a loud stadium, and having a roof helps increase the volume level, but fans are responsive to the game's ebbs and flow.
Metropolitan Dallas is a sprawling area, making up the 4th largest metropolitan population in the United States. Such a large population around Dallas can lead to a great deal of congestion, and navigating the highways around town can take some patience.
The City of Arlington has dabbled with public transportation in the past, but does not have a dedicated public transit infrastructure in place at present; at the moment the only ways to get to Globe Life Field are via rideshare, or by driving and parking in any of the lots around the stadium.
Globe Life Field is just over 20 miles west of downtown Dallas, and just over 10 miles from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Interstate 30 runs north of the ballpark, and several main thoroughfares feed into the parking areas that surround Globe Life Field.
There are a few smaller lots to the east of the stadium, but most of the parking will be on the north side, so approaching from I-30 will make accessing these lots a bit easier. The walk from some of the parking areas can be quite lengthy, so check out the parking map before purchasing.
Once at the ballpark, the primary entrance is adjacent to the Texas Live! entertainment district, on the north side of the stadium. Weekday games do not appear to have much of an initial crowd as the gates open.
Upon entering the stadium, fans are treated to very wide concourses that provide plenty of room for fans to move around and not feel crowded; nor are there concessions carts squeezed onto the walkways.
Return on Investment 3
It is difficult to say whether fans are truly getting an overall return on investment on what they pay to attend Major League Baseball games. Between the use of dynamic pricing, service fees, and taxes on tickets, a get-in-the-door ticket that appears to be rather affordable initially can quickly escalate due to the additional fees. Also, the service charges are rather disproportionate – a $22 ticket has an $8 service fee added to it, whereas a $723 ticket has a service fee of $9.25.
Starting at $15, parking is also subject to fees and taxes, which pushes lower-priced parking more into the neighborhood of $22, which is about the median rate around the league. Basic ticket prices are reasonable, but the service fees and taxes quickly add up from what the initial prices show.
Of all the expenses that go into the typical trip to the ballpark, concessions seem to be the most reasonably priced, especially when considering the portion sizes of several of the options here. At this point, the added expenses should not come as a surprise, but they take what appears to be an affordable price to get through the gate and inflates it to prices that might make you raise an eyebrow.
For fans who are into the inner workings of game operations, the public address booth of Chuck Morgan is on full display behind home plate, on the main concourse. Display cases of memorabilia sit on either side of the doors to Morgan’s office, and even more, adorn his walls. Chuck Morgan also welcomes fans into his public address office to take photos and discuss their favorite Rangers memories before the game.
The Texas Rangers Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of players, executives, broadcasters, and others who have had a positive impact on the history of baseball in Arlington. Plaques of the inductees are displayed outside the stadium's northeast entry point, adjacent to the statue of Benjie Molina and Neftali Feliz celebrating the Rangers 2010 American League Championship.
Former Rangers players sign autographs for an hour before the game in the New Era Alumni Alley.
Globe Life Field is a KultureCity-certified sensory-inclusive venue – the venue provides fans who might have sensory processing difficulties with an area to regulate their sensory input and social stories to help prepare them for their visit to the ballpark.
The outfield wall recognizes numbers of significance throughout Rangers history – the distance down the left field line is 329’ (29 – Adrian Beltre), left field is marked at 334’ (34 – Nolan Ryan), the deepest part of center field goes 410’ (10 – Michael Young), straight away center field is 407’ (7 – Ivan Rodriguez), and the right field line is 326’ (26 – Johnny Oates).
Two other numbers are noted in the playing field’s measurements as well; 374’ to the right field power alley (1974 being the first winning season for the Rangers), and it is 42’ from home plate to the backstop, in recognition of Jackie Robinson’s retired number throughout baseball, 42.
After just 22 years, there was much question about whether the Rangers needed a new stadium, and if replacing Globe Life ballpark was even necessary. Regardless of the actual need for a new stadium, there is one, and it does well to provide a bit more than what the previous facility was able to give fans.
The two biggest improvements have been the increased access to specialized game experiences and clubs, but more importantly the all-around comfort of a climate-controlled venue. Overall, the Rangers have taken what was already a good baseball experience and added more for a wider population of baseball fans.