The Texas Rangers’ new retractable-roof ballpark is expected to seat about 40,500 fans with room for about 2,000 more standing-room-only attendees when it’s completed in March.
Construction workers at Globe Life Field, which is replacing the 25-year-old Globe Life Park for the 2020 season, are nearing completion of the massive retractable roof trusses. The roof structure is scheduled to be completed by the end of October. The final touches, including the decking and an outside membrane, are schedule to be finished by early February. The cosmetic look of the inside of the roof will replicate old ballpark grandstands, with the metal beams painted with a wood-inspired look.
Once the trusses are lifted into place, that will allow crews to dismantle and remove the large crane sitting in the middle of the field. Once removed, that will allow detailed work on the playing field to begin.
If you’re worried about the roof being closed most of the time, Rangers operations executive Rob Matwick wants you to relax. The Rangers hope to play with the roof open as much as possible.
“Many of those early games will be open air,” Matwick said of the April schedule, pending clear skies on any given night. “We’ll try to be aggressive and play as many with it open as much as we can.”
Rangers fans, of course, have been watching baseball under open skies since 1972 so the club knows it will be an adjustment.
“Our fans are used to open-air baseball,” he said. “When you get to July and August you start getting 100-degree days. We want fan comfort and player comfort.”
As for who will make the ultimate decision on a daily basis, Matwick said that’s still to be determined, but suggested general manager Jon Daniels, in consultation with manager Chris Woodward are likely to be in on the decision. Owner Ray Davis could also have a say.
“I think you need to get input from everybody. Once you get to operational standards that everyone is comfortable with then I think it becomes much easier,” he said. “You have to get feedback from players and from our customers, too. That’s an important part of this. It’s a new world for us.”
The fears of some Rangers’ fans that Globe Life Park will too much resemble the Astros’ Minute Maid Park is unfounded, Matwick said.
For instance, the design of Globe Life Field is much more arena-like, with seating stacked and closer the action than Minute Maid. For example, the lower level at Minute Maid Park has 40 rows for the most part. Globe Life Field will have just 16.
This will mean much quicker trips to the concession stands and restrooms. Globe Life Fields’ retractable roof will be house (when open) on the west side (behind the left-field line) as opposed to MMP, which is behind right-field.
This will allow the roof to cover the infield quicker in the event of a flash rain shower.