Culture / Sporting Life

Your First Look Inside the $1.2 Billion Globe Life Field — the Coolest Ballpark in All of MLB?

Texas Rangers' New Stadium Comes With Seating Perks and Surprises Galore

BY // 03.11.20
photography Courtney Dabney

Baseball fans — and new stadium devotees — are in for a real treat with the opening of Globe Life Field .

Chris Stapleton and Willie Nelson have the honor of headlining the first concert at Globe Life Field this Saturday, March 14. Then, the Texas Rangers are scheduled to face off against the Los Angeles Angels on March 31, in their 2020 home opener (coronavirus developments permitting). It’s already been announced that the Rangers opening series against the Mariners, set to begin March 26, will not be played in Seattle as scheduled.

The possibility of moving those road games against the Mariners to Globe Life Field, which would mean an even earlier opening date for the Rangers’ first home game, is being discussed.

Still, the Rangers’ new home is built for the long run. Construction began in September of 2017, on the new 1.8 million square foot ballpark ― located on 13 acres  just south of Globe Life Park, the Rangers’ previous ballpark, in Arlington.

The most anticipated feature of the $1.2 billion design is, of course, its new retractable roof. Rangers fans can not only raise the roof at the brand new Globe Life Field ― for the first time ever, they can close it as well ― and kick up the air conditioning a little. The entire roof closing or opening maneuver only takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Gone are the days of simmering slowly in the hot Texas sun ― like a ballpark frank. It’s really too bad that the next generation of baseball fans won’t have those sweltering memories, but the new stadium promises a chance to make more comfortable ones.

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The operable roof sits on the second largest crane rail in the world, and is one of the heaviest and largest retractable roofs in the country. But, it’s not the only engineering marvel you’ll find here. Dallas-based, HKS Architects, really outdid themselves with upgrades in every direction. They worked alongside Manhattan Construction Company on this massive build.

Globe Life Field’s High-Tech Perks

Globe Life Field has also been outfitted with transparent cushions called ETFE. The high-tech material is a plastic polymer related to Teflon. In modern architecture it is often used to replace glass walls or skylights in long span conditions. ETFE is highly transparent and very lightweight (as compared to glass). You’ll notice the material has been utilized along mostly upper concourses to allow natural light in the building. It also has insulation properties — keeping the cool air in and the heat out.

There’s no need to squint at the scoreboard either ― the main video board measures 58 by 150 feet. The massive upgrade is 72 percent larger than the scoreboard used at Globe Life Park.

But, in some ways, the new Globe Life Field also proves that less is more. While the new ballpark actually lost 8,700 seats compared to its predecessor, each seat added two extra inches in width for comfort, and the stadium itself is seven levels — compared to the old place’s five levels.

The new ballpark seats 40,300 total fans, with arguably the most intimate seating bowl in all of Major League Baseball. Fans are now closer to the action than ever before, with those two additional levels. The new seating configuration, along the upper concourse for instance, will bring fans a full 23 feet closer to the field than before.

Globe – Founder’s Suite view of field (Photo by Photo by Courtney Dabney)
Theater seating just outside the Founder’s Suite with a view of field. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)

The stadium has also been given a private club feel. There are now six premium clubs at Globe Life Field. The climate-controlled, StubHub Club, provides up-close proximity to the action ― surrounding fans with life-sized media screens ― so they can sip and nibble, and not miss a single out.

“It has a gigantic media component,” Loretta Fulvio, principal and interior design director at HKS, tells PaperCity Fort Worth.

There are a variety of luxury suites to suit every taste. Founder’s Suites have access to their own private club, outfitted with custom tile and mill work, a central service island, stone finishes and unobstructed views. Legacy Suites have porcelain floors, acoustic ceiling tiles, and modern glass and stone accents. Hall of Fame Suites can accommodate between 30 to 420 people. Featuring retractable walls, they are furnished in rich textures and provide multiple rows of movie theater style seats, outside each suite.

Some new seating options even come with dugout views. The Field Suites are actually carved out of the ground behind home plate, putting fans closer to home plate than even the pitcher on the mound.  These glass, opera boxes are attached to the StubHub Club, with their own VIP seating section.

“There are also two Dugout Clubs that are open to the field, and one half of these are actually ticketed seats. The Field Suites are flanked by the Owner’s Suites,” Fulvio says.

Named after Waco-based Balcones Distilling, The Balcones Speakeasy, is a sexy, exclusive club space, located in The District behind home plate. Secluded from the field, this dimly lit and intimate space is a ticketed club, and Rangers management confirmed today that it’s already sold out for the season.

“The Balcones Speakeasy has a prohibition feel, where you have to knock on an unmarked door for entrance,” Fulvio reveals. Hint: When you come across double doors stating Texas Fireproof Storage Company, you’ll know you’re in the right place.

HKS Architects also designed both the lower and upper concourses to wrap a full 360-degrees ― unlike any other MLB ballpark, “where you can only walk to a point before being forced to double-back,” Fulvio notes.

Globe – Vintage ’72 brings 14 Hands wines to the ballpark (Photo by Courtney Dabney)
14 Hands Winery is one of the new offerings you’ll notice. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)

The lower concourse is set up food hall style, in the hopes that visitors can enjoy a different dining experience on every trip.

“As you move through the meandering layout, you’ll notice local favorites from Fort Worth, Dallas and Arlington,” Fulvio says.  A few local names have just been revealed including Pluckers Wing Bar, Golden Chick and Bahama Bucks.

A Porch in the Sky

The brand new Texas Sky Porch is open to all ticket-holders, lined with relaxed rocking chairs on the upper deck, overlooking the outfield. It’s like taking in the game from your own front porch. Houston-based Karbach Brewing Co. has crafted a special beer in its honor.

“Sky Porch Ale is a perfect baseball beer,” Karbach Founder, Brad Batson, tells PaperCity Fort Worth. “It’s a strawberry blonde, with notes of lemongrass, and Texas sourced honey. And, at 4.9 percent alcohol – it’s a real thirst quencher.”

Sky Porch Ale will only be available for fans to enjoy at the ballpark.

The new Globe Life Field offers a huge diversity of social spaces at all ticket levels, and for every kind of baseball fan – from the hardcore devotee to the casual observer. It’s a brand new day in baseball.

Arlington is now home to one of the coolest  MLB stadiums in the country – in terms of both design and now air-conditioning as well.

For an even closer look at the new Globe Life Field, click thru PaperCity’s exclusive photo gallery below:

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