Culture / Sporting Life

Joe Buck Really Loves Arlington — How the Rangers’ $1.2 Billion New Ballpark Emerged as One of the World Series Big Winners

What Being One of the First Fans at Globe Life Field Was Really Like

BY // 10.29.20

Joe Buck could not stop talking about Globe Life Field, which is understandable. The Texas Rangers’ new $1.2 billion ballpark may look like an airport hanger from the outside, but it’s a beautiful place to watch baseball. Buck also could not stop waxing poetic about Arlington.

Which may be the first and only time anyone’s ever done that on national TV.

Arlington is nice enough. It is mostly known for being the home to every sports stadium you could imagine, a Six Flags and plenty of strip mall life. Arlington’s utilitarian. It is a place you go to to do a very specific thing. But few would describe it as charming.

Buck, the voice and face of Fox Sports, was charmed though. Buck has spent a lot of time in Arlington over the last three weeks with both the seven game National League Championship Series and the six game World Series playing out in the new spaceship worthy ballpark.

And the self-dubbed American Dream City certainly seems to have grown on the famous sports announcer.

“The staff in this ballpark has been fantastic,” Joe Buck says in the midst of Game 6 of the World Series. “This has been the perfect host city for both the NLCS and the World Series.”

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In one of the weirdest World Series ever, it’s only fitting that oft-overlooked Arlington and the Rangers’ new world ballpark emerged as two of the biggest winners. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash’s brain-locked early removal of Blake Snell robbed us of having a Game 7. And LA third baseman Justin Turner’s COVID-19 party threatened to overshadow the Dodgers’ first title in 38 long years and the victory laps of one of the most annoying fan bases in all of sports.

But nothing could diminish Globe Life Field’s performance.

Even limited to 25 percent capacity, with only about 11,500 fans in the building for each game, the Rangers’ new park shined. My oldest baseball loving son and I attended one of the National League Championship Series games as fans and the experience more than stood up.

It actually was somewhat fun to be in a limited ballpark crowd environment. There was no waiting to get food, no struggling to find room to move around the Globe Life Field concourses. With every other row blocked off, everyone also enjoyed the kind of leg room that Kansas City Royals fans only get in a more regular season.

Having none of the specialty food vendors open was something of a minor letdown. Only standard ballpark fare could be bought (hot dogs, pizza, ice cream and the like.) Not close to everyone wore masks at their seats as they were supposed to, but with the big roof open and every other row not used, we felt safe. MLB security did come around every few innings to try and make fans put on their masks, but it accomplished little lasting and only disturbed people watching the game. As soon as the security guy left, some took their masks off again.

You can not legislate common sense —  or looking out for each other.

Virus Outbreak Baseball
The Nolan Ryan statue is just one of the fun parts of Globe Life Field.

Joe Buck Land?

The new park proved to be a great setting for these high-stakes games. The rocking chairs on the 200 level, the larger-than-life bobbleheads that are already photo favorites, the high-tech scoreboard that would satisfy the most devoted Sabermetrics disciple or baseball nerd, all brought smiles.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has gone from having one of the most uncomfortable ballparks in the Majors to one of the most complete.

Heck, the Globe Life Field scoreboard even includes the induced vertical break and the horizontal break for every pitch, bringing baseball’s latest of the moment stats to life.

This is a special place to watch a game. No wonder why Joe Buck suddenly seems to have a serious crush on Arlington.

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