Texas Rangers: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

Naming-rights deal should help front office

February, 5, 2014
Let me guess: You don't like the name Globe Life Park in Arlington. I get it (though I kind of like the idea of "The Globe" and some Shakespearean humor). The park has been Rangers Ballpark in Arlington or just The Ballpark in Arlington for all but four years of its 20-year existence and now there's another corporate sponsor on the building.

But understand that this deal, for 10 years, is yet another sign of the Rangers positioning themselves to be annual contenders. We don't know the details of the deal yet, but Minute Maid paid $6 million-plus to put its name on the Astros' stadium. Most MLB deals, according to a Sports Business Daily study in 2011, hover around $3 million. So if that's what this is, that's money that can increase the budget a little in the coming decade.

Whether you think that's worth is up to you, but with the way salaries are going and the need to spend money on scouting and development all over the world, any amount of money coming in on a yearly basis helps.

The Rangers sure have come a long way in 3½ years, haven't they? The club that was mired in bankruptcy court and eventually sold in auction to the current ownership group (minus two of the biggest public faces, Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan) in August 2010 is now one of the most financially stable teams in the big leagues.

On Wednesday, the Rangers added another revenue stream with the agreement with Globe Life, a Dallas-area insurance company based in McKinney, Texas. If you couple that with the huge television deal signed a few years ago that kicks in next year, the Rangers are in solid shape financially. This ownership group has made it clear that it wants a contender and has already showed that by opening the checkbook. So expect most of the money generated from the sale of the naming rights to be put back into the club.

General manager Jon Daniels and his staff built the Rangers despite a limited budget. The Mark Teixeira trade -- which yielded, among others, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison -- was the biggest piece of a long-term plan to rebuild the minor league system and gain currency in the form of prospects. Texas used those prospects, even in the midst of bankruptcy, to acquire ace Cliff Lee, who helped get the franchise to its first World Series.

Once this ownership group -- of which Ryan and Greenberg were the public faces, but Ray Davis, Bob Simpson, Neil Leibman and others were the money behind the purchase -- came on board, Daniels got the added bonus of having some money to spend and the ability to make trades. The result is a team that has become an annual contender. Ownership has shown a willingness to spend, even before the TV deal (worth a reported $3 billion over 20 years) becomes effective in 2015. They wrote a check for $51.7 million to Yu Darvish's Japanese club and then spent another $56 million guaranteed to sign him in 2012. They spent $80 million on Adrian Beltre, and it could become $96 million if the vesting option kicks in for the final year of his deal. This offseason, ownership didn't hesitate to add to the payroll through the trade for Prince Fielder and the acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo. Neither of those were cheap purchases.

Don't forget that money was also allocated internationally because the Rangers spent money on signing bonuses for players all over the world. That can't happen without a steady cash flow. Every little bit of additional income helps.

So while Wednesday's news was about a corporation putting its name on the ballpark, it should have a direct -- and positive -- impact on the front office.

Fans asked to show tickets for parking lots

July, 23, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- With the Gold Cup soccer doubleheader at Cowboys Stadium on Wednesday, the Rangers will be asking fans to show their baseball tickets for Wednesday’s game as they enter the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington parking lots.

The Rangers want to make certain that the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington lots are reserved for fans attending Wednesday’s Rangers-Yankees game.

The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington lots open at 4 p.m.

Some thoughts on the ballpark tour

January, 9, 2013
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.

Park changes include new seats, larger dugouts

October, 30, 2012
ARLINGTON -- For the third consecutive offseason, construction crews are busy working at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

As part of the club's $35 million renovations over the three-year period, a third row of Home Plate seats are being added and the dugouts are moving closer to the field. That will reduce foul ground by about three feet in front of both dugouts. Also, the Cuervo Club -- now the Capital One Club after the Rangers announced a partnership with Capital One Bank -- will be renovated and expanded.

The Rangers offered the media a chance to tour the construction area. The changes are scheduled to be completed before the end of March, according to Rob Matwick, executive VP of ballpark operations.

Here's a quick look at what is getting upgraded:

New home plate seats: There will be a total of 52 seats added as a third row behind home plate. The premium seats will be 22 inches wide, cushioned and have high backs. Those rows have extra leg room as well and each holder can receive complimentary buffet in the renovated Capital One Club before every game.

Wider dugouts: The dugouts are coming out toward the field by about three more feet. That's going to give players and coaches more room to move around in there, but will also decrease the foul territory. It will be 42 feet, six inches from the front of the inside camera bays to the foul lines. It also means a smaller foul area (by about three feet) in front of the dugouts.

New Capital One Club: The existing club, known as the Cuervo Club, will be renamed Capital One Club and is will be expanded and renovated. There will be a new cooking area, bars and dining room space in the center and the number of permanent seats goes up from 76 to 104. The climate-controlled space goes from 8,100 square feet to 9,100.

Altered main concourse concessions: The existing concessions behind home plate will be renovated to look more like the area in Vandergriff Plaza (in center field) and that includes a new opening for fans to see the field as they come in. To make that effect happen, about 200 seats were removed from section 126.

New retail store: The West Box office area will now house a larger retail story, about 2,120 square feet worth of space.

New concession locations: The Rangers are adding concession stands to the south end of the new retail store and along the outer wall of the Main Concourse on the third-base side of the park.

Rangers hit two million mark in attendance

July, 23, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers surpassed the two million mark in home attendance Monday in their 46th game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the fastest the club has ever reached the mark.

Attendance at Rangers Ballpark for Monday's series opener between the Rangers and Boston Red Sox was 44,132.

Texas reached the two million mark in the 50th game in 1994. The Rangers didn't reach that plateau until their 55th game last year.

Texas entered Monday's game ranked second in the majors in attendance with an average of 43,608 fans per game. Philadelphia ranks first at 44,758 per game.

Rangers tie most sellouts in a season

June, 22, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Build it and they will come.

That is certainly the case with the Texas Rangers, who have put together one of the best teams in the majors. In Friday's game against the Colorado Rockies, the Rangers announced a sellout crowd of 46,964 to tie the all-time club record for sellouts in a season with 21.

The previous record was set in 1994 when Rangers Ballpark in Arlington first opened. There were just 11 sellouts in the 2011 season. Friday's sellout was the fourth in a row for the Rangers. It is the fourth time this season they've had four consecutive sellouts.

How bad was Arlington Stadium?

June, 20, 2012
While ESPN.com continues its Battle of Ballparks to select the best baseball stadium in the country (Rangers Ballpark in Arlington lost in the second round of the bracket), Jim Caple provided his list of the the 10 worst major league ballparks in history.

Old Arlington Stadium checks on at No. 5, with Caple blaming the overexposed seating:
Death Valley in California, located in a narrow valley 234 feet below sea level, once recorded a temperature of 134 degrees, had 42 consecutive days above 120 degrees one summer and had a stretch of 154 consecutive days above 100 degrees last year. The average high for July is 116. Nonetheless, the hottest points in the United States were the 43,000 seats at the Rangers' old stadium, almost all of which were completely exposed to the sun.

Read the whole list here. What are your memories, good or bad, of Arlington Stadium?

Rangers Ballpark takes aim at Target

June, 19, 2012
Target Field vs. Rangers BallparkESPN.com IllustrationRangers Ballpark in Arlington advanced to the second round, where it faces Minnesota's Target Field.

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington provided the second-biggest upset in the first round of ESPN.com's Battle of the Ballparks bracket, knocking off Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium by less than one percent.

Milwaukee's Miller Park, the No. 24 seed, was the only stadium seeded lower than No. 21 Rangers Ballpark to reach the second round. More than 56,000 votes were cast in the RBIA-Kauffman matchup.

Rangers Ballpark now sets its sights on Minnesota's Target Field, the No. 5 seed, in the second round.

Click here to vote on this matchup and the entire second round.

What are your thoughts about RBIA vs. Target Field?
ARLINGTON, Texas – Tony Romo had a question for reporters when he sat down in front of the microphones in the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington interview room.

“Anyone get the speed of that pitch?” Romo asked with a grin.

The Cowboys quarterback brought the high heat when he threw out the first pitch before Wednesday’s Mariners-Rangers game. OK, heat might be stretching it, although scoreboard radar gun wasn’t on at the moment. But Romo, sporting his Starter gear and working out of a full windup from the pitcher’s rubber, did throw a high fastball.

Rangers reliever/Cowboys season-ticket holder Mike Adams, who put on a blue Cowboys cap to serve as Romo’s personal catcher, had to come out of his crouch to catch the pitch. Romo said he warned Adams that might be the case.

“Usually if it depends on my right arm doing something right, we should be OK,” Romo said. “We did all right.”

Romo hadn’t pitched since his days as a Little Leaguer in Wisconsin, focusing on football, basketball and golf in high school. He took a couple of warmup tosses in the batting cages before taking the mound in front of a crowd of around 45,000.

Romo said he goes to a couple of Rangers games each season, but this is the first time he’s thrown out the first pitch. He enjoyed meeting several Rangers, signing autographs for some, in the home clubhouse before the game.

“They’re unique. They’re fun to watch,” Romo said. “They’re a great team. It’s funny. I was in the locker room and saw a bunch of the guys, and you feel like you know them even though you never met them. That’s the way they come across to people. It makes you root for them. It’s a team that you really enjoy watching. I’m behind them.”

While this was Romo’s first pitch debut, he has been in the spotlight at a big league park before. Romo sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field a few years ago.

It’s safe to say that Romo is a better pitcher than singer.

“Yes, I would assume that,” Romo said. “I’m really a good singer, but …”

Cowboys will take swings in HR derby

May, 21, 2012
Coach Jason Garrett and a group of Cowboys players will compete in a home run derby for charity Wednesday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Reliant will donate money to Big Brothers Big Sisters depending on how well the football players can swing baseball bats. The event won't be open to the public. The Rangers will be playing in Seattle on Wednesday.

From the media release:
Reliant will donate $500 for each home run hit by a player during the event and will also have 11 bull's-eye targets for a chance for the players to hit in the amounts of $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000. Reliant will also double the donation amounts for the last ball, known as the “money ball,” hit by each player. About 150 members of the BBBS organization and the Dallas Cowboys Rookie Club, presented by UnitedHealthcare, will attend the event to cheer on the Cowboys.

Former Rangers pitcher Tim Crabtree will be on the mound, and the players schedule to compete are Miles Austin, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, John Phillips, Doug Free, Sean Lee, Kevin Ogletree and Jason Hatcher.

Place your bets now: Who will be the best slugger in the bunch?

Friday sold out; Saturday nearly sold out

April, 4, 2012
A quick ticket update for you in terms of the next four days, courtesy of some numbers the Rangers' crunched this afternoon.

* Friday, April 6 vs. Chicago (1:05 p.m.)—COMPLETE SELLOUT

* Saturday, April 7 vs. Chicago (7:05)—Less than 1,000 reserved seats remain. Standing room tickets, priced at $25.00 each will go on sale Thursday.

* Sunday, April 8 vs. Chicago (7:05)—approximately 5,500 tickets remain

* Monday, April 9 vs. Seattle (7:05)—approximately 11,000 tickets remain for Yu Darvish's first big league start

You can buy tickets in person at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington box office or by calling 972-RANGERS or going to the club's web site (texasrangers.com).

Club announces ticket specials, promotions

February, 29, 2012
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers on Wednesday announced some ticket specials and promotion games for the 2012 season.

Tickets for all 2012 home games go on sale Saturday at 9 a.m. at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, texasrangers.com or by calling 972-RANGERS. There aren't many tickets left for Opening Day, but fans can still get in with a 10- or 20-game package. As for the promotions, here are some highlights (from the club's release) and yes, that includes Nolan Ryan Snow Monkey night July 1:

* Rangers 40th Anniversary Items: Giveaway items will include Michaels Rangers 40th Anniversary Calendar on April 7; FOX Sports Southwest 1970’s Rangers Cap on May 12; JCPenney Mother’s Day Pink Retro T-Shirt on May 13; Sweet Baby Ray’s Nolan Ryan Retro T-Shirt on June 16; Coca-Cola Rangers 40th Anniversary Mug on July 7; and Smile Generation Rangers Powder Blue T-Shirt on August 11

* The Rangers will highlight their 2011 A.L. Championship Season with the American League Replica Trophy presented by Mission giveaway on April 8.

* Dr Pepper and Snapple present the Kids Giveaway Jersey Series: Snapple Napoli Red Jersey on April 29; Dr Pepper Cruz White Jersey on May 27; and Dr Pepper Andrus Blue Jersey on July 29

* Three Bobblehead Giveaways: Medical Center Arlington Beltre Bobblehead on April 28; Kinsler Bobblehead on August 12; and Washington Bobblehead on August 25.

* First of its Kind Giveaway: Chicken Express Nolan Ryan Snow Monkey Night on July 1.

* Post-Game Fireworks Shows will take place every Friday night, a total of 12 shows which are all Verizon Wireless Fireworks Fridays with discounts on tickets and parking.

* Three pre or post-game concerts: Pre-game concert with Casting Crowns on May 26 and post-game concerts with Reckless Kelly on June 30 and Jack Ingram on July 28.

* Promotional items featuring eight different Rangers: Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Mike Napoli, Ron Washington and the newest Ranger Yu Darvish (T-Shirt giveaway on June 30).

* Fans can bring their dogs to the ballpark on May 15 for Bark in the Park presented by Natural Balance Pet Foods (advanced registration required and available starting March 5 on texasrangers.com/barkinthepark).

Rangers Ballpark upgrades nearing completion

February, 15, 2012
When doing the play-by-play call in the Texas Rangers radio booth, it was quite common for Eric Nadel to notice action in the visiting bullpen through his peripheral vision. He would point toward the bullpen, and I would then reach for the binoculars while sitting in the second row of the radio booth.

If I didn't see the pitcher first stand up, then I prayed my binoculars would have some sort of supernatural ability to see the uniform number through the darkened wind screen as that pitcher warmed up. That problem won't exist in 2012. There won't be a darkened wind screen to hide the visiting relief pitcher. It's a Tony LaRussa excuse-free look.

"The visiting pitchers will throw back toward Greene's Hill, which is the same direction, the same orientation that our pitchers throw in. It kind of matches it up," said Rob Matwick, the Rangers executive vice president of ballpark operations who spoke during Wednesday's construction update tour. "It will be a lot easier for fans to see who is warming up when visiting pitchers get up in the bullpen."

Construction is scheduled to be completed on March 20 for the visiting bullpen, the Batter’s Eye Dining Club, the center-field plaza with concession stands and video boards, an indoor Kid Zone and a restaurant/sports bar. The project is 65-70 percent complete.

"If we'd of had the winter we had last year, that would have made this a lot more difficult," said Wesley Weaver, the senior project manager for the contractor. "The winter has been great."

Rangers executives visited 15 ballparks around the country last season to view fan amenities. The Batter's Eye Dining Club was inspired by visits to a half dozen or so ballparks including Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium and The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. For those who buy standing room only tickets for Opening Day or merely have children that won't sit still at any game, there's more space to move around in center field.

"If they want to get out of the heat, they can come back into the restaurant, the retail shop or the Kid Zone. It just gives fans more choices," Matwick said about the center field amenities. "I think you'll see that it’s going to become a gathering point for fans. With the videoboard, now there's not a reason to vacate this area. It's a place where you can stay and still be connected to the game."

The project, which began the Monday after the World Series, is near completion, but the Rangers are still thinking ahead. The Rangers are already looking into ways to improve the fan experience next season.

Follow Bryan Dolgin on Twtter @RangersRadioBD

Josh Hamilton says Yu Darvish will adjust

January, 20, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers outfielder and 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton wanted to see for himself the official introductory news conference for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.

Hamilton sat in the front row, beside co-chairmen of the board Ray Davis and Bob Simpson, and watched as Darvish calmly answered questions. Darvish cracked some jokes and showed composure. It impressed Hamilton.

"It was awesome," Hamilton said. "For him to be here is a good thing, not only for him, but for the Texas organization and fans. He'll fit in fine."

Hamilton believes that Darvish will surprise people by how quickly he's able to make the on-field adjustments needed to succeed, like learning big league hitters, throwing a different ball and dealing with the 100-degree Texas heat.

"I don't think the culture shock will be as big as people think, either," Hamilton said. "As a competitor, as an athlete, the on-the-field stuff will be easier for him to handle. The off-the-field things will be hard, but he'll have people to help him adjust."

Hamilton met Darvish when the Japanese pitcher came to Arlington in early January to get a feel for the place. Hamilton also said "Welcome to Texas" in Japanese in a recruiting video the club played for Darvish during his tour of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"This is exciting," Hamilton said. "Spring training will be fun."

Greg Maddux set to help pitchers' defense

January, 17, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers are hosting a pitching minicamp this week at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It's a chance for some of the organization's young arms to throw a little bit off the mound and do so under the watchful eye of a host of coaches, including future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.

Maddux is here as a special assistant. It's a part-time job that will allow him to spend time with his family but also keep him involved in the game.

"Today is Day 1 for me," Maddux said. "The organization, they know what they're doing, and and I'm just here to come and try to help out any way possible and try to get to know the players a little bit."

One of Maddux's key roles is to help the pitchers improve defensively. This was a Rangers pitching staff that committed 16 errors in 2011. Only the A's, Mariners and Blue Jays (three teams that didn't make the playoffs) had more in the American League. They also had a .934 fielding percentage, second-to-last in the AL (only the A's were worse).

"There is really no program [for defense in spring training]," Maddux said. "You just go out and do it. When you do your PFP's (pitcher's fielding practice) in spring training, that's when you do it. You don't write up a gameplan. You watch other guys do it. Usually when guys get to big league camp they are pretty good at technique and the fundamentals of PFPs. It's just a matter of reading the ball correctly off the bat and making the right decisions once you have the ball."

Maddux comes to spring training with plenty of defensive credentials. He had 18 Gold Gloves as a player.

"Fielding is important," Maddux said. "If you can catch three balls a game, that's an inning right there. If you pitch seven innings, you get three of them (outs), you're doing to six. It's important to be able to catch the ball when it's hit back to you and make accurate throws to all the bases.

Mike Maddux, the club's pitching coach, expects one of his brother's duties to be out helping the pitchers on the back fields in Surprise with defense.

"He definitely wants to be a part of the PFP program," Mike Maddux said. "It's been great having him here. This is Day 1 and we've all sat around and had coffee, told lies and get to fraternize a little bit and get everybody's take on stuff. I think everybody is on the same page. It's always good to hear from somebody that's done it. We all had dreams as kids and we fanaticized about being this prolific player and we have one and he just happens to be my brother. It's a lot of fun. Between him and Nolan, that's 600, 700 wins and 20,000 strikeouts and just a plethora of knowledge."



Colby Lewis
10 5.18 133 170
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182