Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is a ballpark in Arlington, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. It was known until May 7, 2004, as The Ballpark in Arlington when Ameriquest bought the naming rights to the ballpark and renamed it Ameriquest Field in Arlington. On March 19, 2007, the Texas Rangers severed their relationship with Ameriquest and announced that the stadium would be named Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The stadium was constructed as a replacement for nearby Arlington Stadium. It is home to the American League's Texas Rangers, and the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame. The stadium contains 5,704 club seats and 126 luxury suites.

Funding was approved for a new home for the Texas Rangers in 1991 by the City of Arlington. Construction began on April 2, 1992 a short distance away from Arlington Stadium, the ballpark it would replace, and the new Ballpark in Arlington was opened on April 1, 1994 in an exhibition contest between the Texas Rangers and the New York Mets. The first official game was on April 11 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The largest crowd to watch a Rangers baseball game was on October 30, 2010, when 52,419 fans watched Game 3 of the 2010 World Series against the San Francisco Giants.


The Ballpark was designed by David M. Schwarz Architectural Services of Washington, D.C. The Rangers chose to build a retro-style ballpark, incorporating many features of baseball's Jewel Box parks. A roofed home run porch in right field is reminiscent of Tiger Stadium, while the white steel frieze that surrounds the upper deck was copied from the pre-1973 Yankee Stadium. The out-of-town scoreboard (removed in 2009 and replaced with a state-of-the-art videoboard from Daktronics) was built into the left-field wall"a nod to Fenway Park, while the numerous nooks and crannies in the outfield fence are a reminder of Ebbets Field. The arched windows are a reminder of Comiskey Park. However, it has a few distinct features of its own. Several traditional Texas-style stone carvings are visible throughout the park. A four-story office building in center field encloses the park, with a white steel multilevel facade similar to the facade on the roof. As the ballpark was built on one of the former Arlington Stadium parking lots, the irregular dimensions of the outfield were planned independently, rather than being forced by neighboring structures. The home plate, foul poles, and bleachers were originally at Arlington Stadium. The Home Plate was inserted into place by Richard Greene (then Mayor of Arlington), Elzie Odom (Head of Arlington Home Run Committee and later Mayor of Arlington), and George W. Bush (former part Rangers owner, then Texas Governor and later President of the United States). The Ballpark's 810-foot (250 m)-long facades are made of brick and Texas Sunset Red granite. Bas-relief friezes depict significant scenes from the history of both Texas and baseball. The calculus of seating arrangements represented a new economic model for the sport: a critical mass of high-dollar seats close to the infield boost ticket revenue. The stadium has three basic seating tiers: lower, club and upper deck. Two levels of luxury suites occupy spaces behind sliding glass doors above and below the club tier. Despite the field being below street level, the park has a large number of obstructed-view seats. In some cases, the view is cut off by an overhang or underhang, and others are directly in front of the foul poles or support poles. Also, the design of the upper deck leaves it one of the highest in baseball. The view from the grandstand reserved sections in left is particularly obstructed. Greene's Hill is a sloped section of turf located behind the center field fence at the home field of the ballpark. The Hill serves as a batter's eye, providing a contrasting background behind the pitchers which enables hitters to more easily see the baseball after the pitcher's release. "Greene's Hill" was originally designed as a picnic area for fans but the Rangers have never initiated this policy. The hill was named after former Arlington mayor, Richard Greene in November 1997. For a couple of years in the 2000s, the Rangers had the "T" from the Texas Rangers logo mowed into the grass, but this is no longer done. In 2010, the Rangers started a tradition where they had four girls run around on Greene's Hill with giant flags when the Rangers scored, similar to what many football teams do when their teams score.

Field dimensions
The field is one of the most notoriously hitter-friendly parks in baseball, due to the high temperatures, relatively short fences, and the design of the stadium which has allowed the area's high winds to swirl and lift balls that wouldn't normally make it out. In truth, the park would give up even more home runs if not for the office building in center and the field being 22 feet (6.7 m) below street level. With a combination of the park's design and the naturally good hitters who've played for the Rangers, the team has put up some rather high home run totals. In 1996, the Rangers hit 221 homers. They eclipsed 200 again in 1998 (201), 1999 (230), 2001 (241), 2002 (230), 2003 (239), 2004 (227), and 2005 (260, four short of the all-time record of 264 by the 1997 Seattle Mariners). Many great sluggers such as Juan González, Iván Rodrí­guez, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Alfonso Soriano, Michael Young, and Josh Hamilton have taken advantage of the stadium. Unfortunately, Rangers' pitching (a traditional franchise weakness) has also suffered from the design of the park.

Lack of retractable roof
Despite being hailed as a wonderful venue in its infant years, articles in The Dallas Morning News began to suggest that the ballpark would have been better served by having a dome or retractable roof - much like Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros - due to the often oppressive heat that settles over Texas during baseball season. Many argue that the intense heat is a liability in attracting players, particularly starting pitchers. That being said, it is questionable that retractable roof technology was a good candidate at the time the park was constructed, when modern mechanical retractable-roof ballparks like Chase Field, Safeco Field, Minute Maid Park, and Miller Park would not open until several years after the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. While retractable roof solutions did exist at the time, they had significant detractors. The Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome) uses retractable roof technology, and is motorized, and opened in 1989. However, it had a $570 million pricetag, being partially funded by the federal and provincial governments, the city of Toronto, as well as a consortium of corporations (though the Blue Jays now own the stadium, by way of parent company Rogers Communications). One reason for the extra funding sources was that it was a multipurpose venue, being used for a wide variety of sports, as well as conventions. This technology therefore would have been cost prohibitive to the Rangers, who did not have the benefit of those extra sources of funding, and where the price tag was well over 6 times the cost of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Many local sports writers in recent years have suggested adding a roof but the idea has not found any traction within the Rangers organization.

On December 3, 2010, the Rangers announced that extensive renovations to the ballpark would be made and ready for the 2011 season. These renovations will include:
  • New HD video boards in right field (atop the Home Run Porch) and center field (on top of the office building).
  • The scoreboard on the left field wall (which had been replaced prior to the 2009 season) will also be updated with HD technology.
  • The audio system throughout the park will be completely overhauled, with new speakers and production equipment.
  • A new 'Show Control System' which can display networked data such as videos, scores, and point-of-sale information anywhere in the park.
  • An IPTV system that can display live television content on ten HDTV channels to any display in the park.

Events hosted
  • Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was the site of the 1995 MLB All-Star Game.
  • Rangers Ballpark hosted the first regular season interleague game on June 12, 1997, when the Rangers played the San Francisco Giants.
  • Scenes from Disney's The Rookie were shot here.
  • The first postseason game won by the Rangers at Rangers Ballpark would come in Game 2 of the 2010 ALCS by a score of 7-2 over the Yankees.
  • On October 22, 2010, the Rangers clinched their first ever American League pennant at the ballpark after a 6-1 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.
  • It hosted Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2010 World Series.

Building Activity

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