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Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
The Ballpark
The Ballpark in Arlington
Location 1000 Ballpark Way
Arlington, Texas 76011
Coordinates Template:Coord
Broke ground April 2, 1992
Opened April 1, 1994
Owner Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority
Surface Grass
Construction cost $191 million
Architect David M. Schwarz Architectural Services, Inc., HKS, Inc. (architect of record)
General Contractor Manhattan Construction Company
Former names The Ballpark in Arlington (1994–2004)
Ameriquest Field in Arlington (2004–2007)
Tenants
Texas Rangers (MLB) (1994–present)
Capacity
49,170
Dimensions
Left Field Line - 332ft
Left Center - 390ft
Deep Left Center - 404ft
Center Field - 400ft
Deep Right Center - 407ft
Right Center - 377ft

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is a ballpark in Arlington, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. It was known until May 7, 2004, as The Ballpark in Arlington when Ameriquest bought the naming rights to the ballpark and renamed it Ameriquest Field in Arlington. Even with the changed name, many fans continued to refer to it as simply "The Ballpark". On Monday, March 19, 2007, the Texas Rangers severed their relationship with Ameriquest and announced that the stadium would be named Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The stadium was constructed as a replacement for nearby Arlington Stadium. It is home to the American League's Texas Rangers, and the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame.

The stadium contains 5,704 club seats and 126 luxury suites.

HistoryEdit

Funding was approved for a new home for the Texas Rangers in 1991 by the City of Arlington. Construction began on April 2, 1992 a short distance away from Arlington Stadium, the ballpark it would replace, and the new Ballpark in Arlington was opened on April 1, 1994 in an exhibition contest between the Texas Rangers and the New York Mets. The first official game was on April 11 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Scenes from Disney's The Rookie were shot here.

At a game between the hometown Rangers and the Cleveland Indians on July 6, 2010, spectator Tyler Morris, 25, was injured when he fell over a Club Level railing on the first base side of the stadium while trying to catch a foul ball that had bounced off a seat behind him. Morris was so intent on going after the foul ball that he lost his balance, went over a railing, hit a ribbon video board on the face of the lower level and somersaulted toward the lower level, landing on a couple from the Houston, Texas area. Regarding the incident, Morris stated, "I guess I lost track of where I was. My friend Brandon tried to grab me, but he couldn’t hold on. The last thing I remember is trying to grab onto the paneling." Morris was released from John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas two days later. [1]

FeaturesEdit

DesignEdit

File:Rangersballparkinarlington.jpg
Park by the Home Plate Entrance at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The Ballpark was designed by David M. Schwarz Architectural Services of Washington, D.C. The Rangers chose to build a retro-style ballpark, incorporating many features of baseball's Jewel Box parks. A roofed home run porch in right field is reminiscent of Tiger Stadium, while the white steel frieze that surrounds the upper deck was copied from the pre-1973 Yankee Stadium. The out-of-town scoreboard (removed in 2009 and replaced with a state-of-the-art videoboard) was built into the left-field wall—a nod to Fenway Park, while the numerous nooks and crannies in the outfield fence are a reminder of Ebbets Field. The park's red brick and granite exterior was copied from Oriole Park at Camden Yards, while the arched windows are a reminder of Comiskey Park. However, it has a few distinct features of its own. Several traditional Texas-style stone carvings are visible throughout the park. A four-story office building in center field encloses the park, with a white steel multilevel facade similar to the facade on the roof.

As the ballpark was built on one of the former Arlington Stadium parking lots, the irregular dimensions of the outfield were planned independently, rather than being forced by neighboring structures. The home plate, foul poles, and bleachers were originally at Arlington Stadium. The Home Plate was inserted into place by Richard Greene (then Mayor of Arlington), Elzie Odom (Head of Arlington Home Run Committee and later Mayor of Arlington), and George W. Bush (former part Rangers owner, then Texas Governor and later President of the United States).

The Ballpark's Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSonTemplate:Convert/track/abbr/Template:Convert/track/disp/Template:Convert/track/sing-long facades are made of brick and Texas Sunset Red granite. Bas-relief friezes depict significant scenes from the history off both Texas and baseball. The calculus of seating arrangements represented a new economic model for the sport: a critical mass of high-dollar seats close to the infield boost ticket revenue. The stadium has three basic seating tiers: lower, club and upper deck. Two levels of luxury suites occupy spaces behind sliding glass doors above and below the club tier.[2]

Despite the field being below street level, the park has a large number of obstructed-view seats. In some cases, the view is cut off by an overhang or underhang, and others are directly in front of the foul poles or support poles. Also, the design of the upper deck leaves it very far from the action. The view from the grandstand reserved sections in left is particularly obstructed.

File:Greeneshill.jpg
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in 2006, with Greene's Hill in center field.

Greene's Hill is a sloped section of turf located behind the center field fence at the home field of the ballpark. The Hill serves as a batter's eye, providing a contrasting background behind the pitchers which enables hitters to more easily see the baseball after the pitcher's release. "Greene's Hill" was originally designed as a picnic area for fans but the Rangers have never initiated this policy. The hill was named after former Arlington mayor, Richard Greene in November 1997.

Field dimensionsEdit

The field is one of the notoriously hitter-friendly parks in baseball, due to the high temperatures, relatively short fences, and the design of the stadium which has allowed the area's high winds to swirl and lift balls that wouldn't normally make it out. In truth, the park would give up even more home runs if not for the office building in center and the field being {{rnd/bExpression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "[".|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.}} feet ({{rnd/bExpression error: Unexpected < operator.|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|(Expression error: Unexpected < operator.)|Expression error: Unexpected < operator.}} m)Template:Convert/track/abbr/Template:Convert/track/disp/Template:Convert/track/adj/ below street level.

With a combination of the park's design and the naturally good hitters who've played for the Rangers, the team has put up some rather high home run totals. In 1996, the Rangers hit 221 homers. They eclipsed 200 again in 1998 (201), 1999 (230), 2001 (241), 2002 (230), 2003 (239), 2004 (227), and 2005 (260, four short of the all-time record of 264 by the 1997 Seattle Mariners). Many great sluggers such as Juan González, Iván Rodríguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Alfonso Soriano, Michael Young, and Josh Hamilton have taken advantage of the stadium. Unfortunately, Rangers' pitching (a traditional franchise weakness) has also suffered from the design of the park.

Lack of retractable roofEdit

Despite being hailed as a wonderful venue in its infant years, articles in the Dallas Morning News began to suggest that the ballpark would have been better served by having a dome or retractable roof - much like Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros - due to the sometimes-oppressive heat that can overtake Texas during baseball season. Many argue that the intense heat is a liability in attracting players, particularly starting pitchers.

That being said, it is questionable that retractable roof technology was a good candidate at the time the park was constructed, when modern mechanical retractable-roof ballparks like Chase Field, Safeco Field, Minute Maid Park, and Miller Park would not open until several years after the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. While retractable roof solutions did exist at the time, they had significant detractors. The Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome) uses retractable roof technology, and is motorized, and opened in 1989. However, it had a $570 million pricetag, being partially funded by the federal and provincial governments, the city of Toronto, as well as a consortium of corporations (though the Blue Jays now own the stadium, by way of parent company Rogers Communications). One reason for the extra funding sources was that it was a multipurpose venue, being used for a wide variety of sports, as well as conventions. This technology therefore would have been cost prohibitive to the Rangers, who did not have the benefit of those extra sources of funding, and where the price tag was well over 6 times the cost of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Many local DFW sports writers in recent years have thrown around the idea of adding a roof to the stadium but the idea has not found any traction within the Rangers organization.

File:Tbia pano2003.jpg
Panoramic shot of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington taken February 1, 2003.

Events hostedEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/07/08/2323410/lake-cities-firefighter-injured.html
  2. from David M. Schwarz/Architectural Services, ISBN 0-9679143-6-1

External linksEdit

Template:S-sta
Preceded by:
Arlington Stadium
Home of the Texas Rangers
1994 – present
Succeeded by:
Current
Preceded by:
Three Rivers Stadium
Host of the All-Star Game
1995
Succeeded by:
Veterans Stadium

Template:Texas Rangers

Current ballparks in Major League Baseball
National League American League
AT&T Park | Busch Stadium | Chase Field | Citi Field | Citizens Bank Park | Coors Field | Dodger Stadium | Great American Ball Park | Marlins Park | Miller Park | Nationals Park | PETCO Park | PNC Park | Turner Field | Wrigley Field Angel Stadium of Anaheim | Comerica Park | Fenway Park | Kauffman Stadium | O.co Coliseum | Minute Maid Park | Oriole Park at Camden Yards | Progressive Field | Rangers Ballpark | Rogers Centre | Safeco Field | Target Field | Tropicana Field | U.S. Cellular Field | Yankee Stadium

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