Take a look into the Rangers’ new Globe Life Field
Tastes great! Less filling!
Yanny or Laurel?
Grass or artificial turf?
OK, the last one might be a little different, but the emotions are just as strong in the debate.
The Rangers are still deciding on whether to use natural grass or synthetic turf at Globe Life Field, the $1.1 billion, retractable-roof stadium being built just south of Globe Life Park.
Fans were given a stadium construction update from Rangers senior vice president of project development Jack Hill and executive vice president of business operations Rob Matwick before Tuesday's game against the Yankees.
Hill and Matwick joined about 100 fans on the upper concourse in right field, the designated observation deck area fans can visit to get a birds-eye overview of the massive construction project.
The stadium is expected to be complete by Opening Day 2020.
Matwick said the club hasn't decided yet whether to use real grass or artificial turf.
"We're still studying both," he said. "The only reason we're looking at turf is because there have been some really interesting advances made. We feel like we need to do our due diligence but we’re also doing our due diligence on the grass."
More than 500 workers have helped keep the project on pace. The formation of the stands is already starting to take shape behind the home plate area. Hill said that the stands will continue to be built up and out in either direction and "hopefully they'll meet in the center field somewhere," he joked.
In the next month, giant steel columns will be constructed that will help support the retractable roof.
There are five cranes currently on site now but in October a 500-foot crane (one of three like it in the world) will be assembled on site to help build the 18,000 ton roof structure.
It will take 180 18-wheeler trips to assemble the crane. Roof construction is expected to begin in October. The roof, Matwick said, is expected to take about a year to complete.
Nolan Ryan Expressway, which has been closed south of Randoll Mill Road since construction began on both Texas Live! and the new stadium, will eventually open up again for traffic. The Rangers plan to close that part of the road, which will run between Globe Life Field and Texas Live! on game days and make it a pedestrian mall.
Hill emphasized how open the stadium should feel to fans even when the roof is closed. The roof will include clear sections that will provide indirect light. Fans sitting along the first base side will be able to see outside looking north.
"We think that will differentiate this stadium from a lot of others, particularly those with a retractable roof," he said.
When the roof is open, it will still provide shade to those sitting on the west side (third base line).
The video screen that will hang above right field, will line up with the edge of the warning track, which will move it much closer to fans than the screen sitting atop the home run porch at Globe Life Park.
The new screen will also be 16 feet taller and 30 feet wider.
"We’re a little concerned about Gallo," joked Matwick, about Joey Gallo's penchant for long home runs.
Also of note, the new ballpark is expected to seat about 40,000 (8,000 fewer than Globe Life Park) and the home dugout will remain down the first base line.
The new stadium, while seating 8,000 fewer fans, will be 400,000 square feet larger than Globe Life Park.
The Rangers hope to attract the major league All-Star Game and the World Baseball Classic, which returns in March 2021. Matwick said they are also talking to college baseball teams and the Big 12 Conference about hosting preseason and conference tournaments.
"The roof opens up a range of possibilities that we’re not able to do here," he said.