ARLINGTON — Fans in the right field home run porch at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will have nothing to complain about in 2009.
The Rangers are replacing the manual scoreboard in left field with a new replay screen, giving fans in right field a chance to see something they haven’t since the park opened: replays.
“People in right field are getting to see a replay for the first time in the history,” public address announcer Chuck Morgan said. “We left Arlington Stadium where the majority of people could see a replay. That’s been one of the flaws. Those have been great seats.”
The new replay screen is just part of approximately $4 million in renovations at the park. The Rangers are also adding LED screens between the foul poles, on the lower home run porch and below the Diamond Club. The replay screen will be 84 by 12 feet. The one between the foul poles will be 3 by 948 feet.
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The club is also adding up to 91 premium seats between the dugouts. They seats will be wider and include complimentary food and beverages. No price has been set for the new seats.
Club president Nolan Ryan hopes the improvements help draw people to the park. The Rangers’ attendance in 2007 was the lowest since the ballpark opened in 1994.
“What we're doing — under the economic conditions we have — [owner] Tom [Hicks] is committed to making the experience at the ballpark better for our fans,” Ryan said from his ranch in Gonzales. “What we would like to see is fans will come out and see the new board, see the ribbon board, see the new seats and understand that we’re committed to their experience at the ballpark. It will hopefully enhance the ballpark experience and the end result is we’ll have more fans at the ballpark.”
Ryan doesn’t believe the loss of the manual scoreboard will take away the feeling of nostalgia in Arlington.“It’s a balance,” Ryan said. “What we’re trying to do is balance the updated boards that are available now. The fans’ expectations are to be entertained and still have the feel for the ballpark and the step back in time.”
ANTHONY ANDRO, 817-390-7760
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