Texas Rangers fans can relax. A little, at least. Globe Life Field will not look much like the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park.
Updated renderings from the Rangers and builder HKS were unveiled Thursday morning, giving fans a better idea of what to expect when the stadium opens in 2020.
The asymmetrical, retractable roof stadium won’t look at all like Minute Maid Park, at least from the outside. The roof will also include a huge skylight that allows natural light into the ballpark even when it’s closed.
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The one concerning piece of news coming out of Thursday’s news conference? The Rangers are still trying to figure out whether a natural grass playing surface will be feasible in the new stadium. The field will be about 70 feet below street level, compared with Globe Life Park’s field, which is 45 feet below.
That lower elevation and the addition of the roof mechanism might provide too much shade for grass to flourish. The $1.1 billion stadium is expected to seat about 42,000. The official groundbreaking on the new stadium is scheduled for Sept. 28, the same day the Rangers host the Oakland A’s. Arlington residents are being offered four free tickets to the game through a Capital One promotion.
The Rangers are likely to make every attempt to use natural grass for multiple reasons, including player preference and overall fan preference. Artificial turf has been scorned in the past couple of decades as clubs have returned to a more traditional look with their parks.
The Texas Rangers will begin playing in a retractable-roof stadium in 2020, but the Texas Live! dining, hotel and entertainment complex is expected to open in 2018.