Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers won’t be opening Globe Life Field. These country music superstars will.

The first event scheduled at Globe Life Field is ... not a Texas Rangers baseball game.

The ballclub announced Wednesday morning that the Chris Stapleton All-American Road Show, along with Willie Nelson and Family, will be the opening act at the $1.2 billion stadium March 14.

Jamey Johnson and Yola will also perform at the concert, which also serves as an extension of a partnership with the Rangers that has already brought four shows to Arlington.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 1.

The Rangers are scheduled to play for the first time at their new retractable-roof ballpark March 23 in an exhibition against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Rangers’ first regular-season game is scheduled for March 31 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Batting first at Globe Life Field, though, is Chris Stapleton.

“It sort of reinforces what we’ve been talking about all along since we started this project, about how Globe Life Field will be more than just the home of the Texas Rangers,” said Rob Matwick, the Rangers’ executive vice president of business operations.

“It will be a 365-day-a-year sports and entertainment venue. So, much more to come.”

Stapleton is a five-time Grammy winner and a nine-time Country Music Association Awards winner. His hits include Traveller, Tennessee Whiskey, Broken Halos and the crossover Say Something with Justin Timberlake.

Nelson is a country music icon who was born in Abbott. He continues to tour at age 86, and has a date scheduled for Nov. 16 at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.

Danny Eaton, the Senior Vice President at Live Nation, said more concerts are coming to Globe Life Field, but the first one will be special.

“We couldn’t have been more fortunate or picked a better act to get these concerts started than with Chris Stapleton,” Eaton said. “Chris has been taking the music world by storm over the last few years. He’s won award after award after award. He’s had hit record after hit record after hit record. His show is one of the best in the world.”

Manhattan Construction had set March 1 as its completion date for Globe Life Field, and the March 14 concert gives them a little more push. All five roof trusses have been raised, and the first seats were installed Wednesday in a photo op after the concert announcement.

Matwick said that the organic artificial surface will be in place for the concert, and it will be protected by the high-density plastic Terratrak. The Rangers used Terratrak for the Paul McCartney concert in June at Globe Life Park.

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After 12 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.
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