Globe Life Field is starting to look like a ballpark.
The construction has gone vertical. The concrete on the main concourse is all poured. Suites have taken shape beneath main concourse.
Anyone who looks north from the concourse can see an outfield has taken shape.
Of course, there’s one massive obstruction in that view.
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The Manitowoc 31,000.
That’s the name of the crane that will help finish off the retractable roof over the next year, and it is the main feature as construction of the Texas Rangers’ next home continues.
It weighs 3,000 tons, which is a lot, and can lift 5 million pounds, also a lot. It took in the ballpark of 150 trucks to haul the crane’s parts to Arlington and more than two weeks and two smaller cranes for it to put together again and become operational.
It’s the largest American-made conventional crawler crane ever built, so big that it essentially covers the entire infield.
Now, that’s a crane.
“It did Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so it was in a storage yard in Atlanta,” said Jim Cuddihee, vice president or operations for Manhattan Construction. “We moved it up here starting in October. We started putting it together the Monday after Thanksgiving and we boomed it up this past Friday.”
Cuddihee said that some work on the Globe Life Field had to stop in order to get the 31,000 up and running, but the project remains on schedule despite the pause and the rains of September and October.
But enough work had been done to allow workers to shift to areas that were under cover, like the lower suite level. The completion of the concrete has been the biggest step.
“That has really allowed us to move forward at a pretty good pace with the interior finishes,” Cuddihee said. “We have suites framed and sheet-rocked. A lot of the mechanical systems are in place above ceilings and in the walls. By finishing the concrete and the steel being in good shape, that has allowed us to go on to the next step.”
The target date for the Globe Life Field grand opening in March 1, 2020, and the plan is for the Rangers to host two exhibition games between spring training and the start of the 2020 season.
The Rangers are likely to open on the road so that any last-second tweaks or issues that arise during the exhibitions can be addressed.