This is fast becoming one of the Texas Rangers’ most memorable seasons in their 43 years in Arlington.
What it may be remembered for, though, is how many seats were embarrassingly empty at Globe Life Park when the Rangers made their incredible stretch run, ending with seven home games this week for a possible playoff spot and then for the American League West Division championship.
Make no mistake: Arlington and Tarrant County’s support for the Rangers is a matter of regional debate.
The Rangers’ city lease in Globe Life Park ends on April 11, 2024, only a few seasons away. Dallas leaders have repeatedly denied any effort to lure the Rangers, but team officials have acknowledged that a stadium with a retractable roof anywhere would attract interest.
As of Friday, the Rangers had the worst attendance of the six division leaders. So far, the team has averaged about 30,000 fans per game, their worst since 2009 and in the bottom half of all teams in Major League Baseball.
Yes, the Rangers are a delightful September surprise. They played .300 ball the first few weeks and still trailed by eight games in August. Yet tickets went on sale Saturday for a possible wild-card playoff game Oct. 6 and three possible league division series games Oct. 8-14.
But now it’s football season, and the Dallas Cowboys are undefeated. College games dominate Saturdays, high school football Fridays.
The Rangers will play seven games this week at Globe Life, first against the Detroit Tigers and then hoping to clinch a division championship against the Los Angeles Angels. Tickets start as low as $10 Monday night using an online coupon code.
The Cowboys play in a beautiful stadium built with Arlington’s help, but their home office has never been in Tarrant County. The Texas Rangers are the only major-league sports team that has ever called the county home.
The attendance this week matters not only to a team playing for a championship, but maybe also to a city and county for years to come.