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Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Some thoughts on the ballpark tour

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers made plenty of announcements on Tuesday, so I didn't get a chance to share some thoughts about the ballpark renovations. So a few things:

* The construction is expected to be completed by March 22, which would give the team some time to get the finishing touches in place before the exhibition game March 28. TCU and UTA play at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on March 19, so everything having to do with the field will be ready by then.

* The dugouts are three to four feet wider, meaning that foul territory is that much smaller to get some extra seats behind the plate and down the lines. Right now there aren't benches or anything in the dugouts, but the work is nearly done so that Dennis Klein, grounds crew director, can get the grass back on the field and get it ready.

* The entire renovation -- revamped Capital One club, new seats, updated concessions and a new retail show -- will cost about $12 million.

* One of the things the club is doing is removing seats in phases. They'll pull out 10,000 of them now. Those are behind home plate (sections 18 to 35). The nice thing (if you ask me)? They'll have higher chair backs by about three or four inches.

* Section 126 behind the plate has been taken out to create that opening, which is 60 feet, 6 inches, by the way. The opening not only allows air to get through (we'll see if it alters how the wind helps the baseball), but provides a nice view as fans walk in the park right behind home plate.

* The Capital One club is being reconfigured. It's essentially the same space, but will be altered. The huge glass window with the nice view will be open so that fans can enjoy it more with the seating more to the sides. Also, those fans will premier tickets will get access before the game. Most of the rest of the fans can get in after the first two innings, though that hasn't been fully finalized yet.