Rangers unveil fan-friendly changes for 2016
From a sandwich so big it might take you till the seventh-inning stretch just to get your mouth around it, to team hats in colors to go with almost any outfit, the Texas Rangers and vendor Delaware North Sportservice unveiled 2016 additions for fans Thursday.
And fans in right field can now watch replays on a huge video board.
First and perhaps most important (other than the 25-man roster): the eats.
Loaded with bacon, ham, sausage and pork rinds among other things, the enormous Wicked Pig sandwich — treadmill not included — looks like it’s a foot tall, at least on an empty stomach. It’s the tallest structure in the Globe Life Park food skyline, outgrowing the four-patty Home Run Cheeseburger, which tastes as heavenly as it sounds.
On the opposite end of the food spectrum is a new fully vegan menu, including nachos, hot dogs, black bean burgers, chili, jerky and hummus with pretzels.
Most curious food item: the Cotton Candy Dog, a hot dog with a touch of the blue and pink sugar treat on top.
All will be available beginning at Monday’s home opener against the Seattle Mariners.
New video board unveiled
Also Thursday, the team showed off its new 100-foot-wide, 40-foot-tall video board, which will allow fans seated in right field to see replays, crowd shots between innings and other in-game entertainment for the first time. It was installed by longtime Rangers vendor Daktronics, said Rob Matwick, Rangers executive vice president of ballpark operations.
Team officials are also pleased with the stadium’s new LED lighting system, which will provide 50 percent more illumination while using 60 percent less energy than the old light standards, Matwick said. For several years, the team struggled to meet Major League Baseball’s lighting standards; the new light-emitting diode system, installed by Eaton’s Ephesus Lighting, will lay those worries to rest.
The New York Yankees and San Diego Padres are also using the system this season; Seattle became the first team to use it last year.
Additional safety features inside the stadium include 6-foot-high netting extending to the end of each dugout and signs warning fans about the dangers of balls and bats flying into the stands.
Colors beyond red and blue
Next, the team gear.
It was hard to miss the big yellow smiley emoticon plush wearing a Rangers hat and eye black. It seems like the perfect gift for the Rangers diehard who has everything (else).
“We rely on our fans to tell us what they want,” Delaware North rep Jane Sorosky said, responding to a comment on the item’s uniqueness. There are also smaller versions of the figure, including a couple in red.
For the wardrobe-minded, the team introduced caps emblazoned with the Texas T in colors best described as tangerine and lime to different shades and textures of gray. Meant to go with almost any casual clothing, the caps allow fashion-conscious fans to wear a Rangers hat every day, Sorosky said.
All the items will be available at the main gift shop at Globe Life Park.