Ballpark Reviews, Baseball, Travel

Ballpark Review: Globe Life Field (Texas Rangers)

Currently the newest MLB stadium (opened in 2020), fans can take shelter from the Texas heat with an air conditioned interior and extensive Texas Live! complex right outside the gate. The food options mirror the Texas saying “everything’s bigger in Texas” with the enormous hot dog and beer options. The game was sold out and fans were very lively cheering the Rangers to an 8-0 win! We had a wonderful time taking in the game with my cousin Christa and her husband Sean, who live in the area! The stadium itself unfortunately was very steep, a bit difficult to navigate, and lacked any notable design features.

Design

The old Rangers stadium (renamed Choctaw) was repurposed for other sports and replaced in 2020 by a retractable roof stadium. This retractable roof and air conditioning are the main advantage of this new stadium. It’s doubtful that they ever actually open it with how hot it is in Texas, though they could copy the Arizona Diamondbacks’ strategy and cool the stadium until game time before opening the roof just in time for first pitch. The roof features clear roof panels allowing natural light into the ballpark when it is closed. The dark green seats and interior accent melded well with the rest of the stadium design. The wooden tables and brown accent color throughout the stadium reminded us of a Texas Roadhouse, fitting for this stadium. With an enclosed stadium, the field is synthetic turf.

The stadium façade consists of primarily glass, brick, and steel, which integrated well with the surrounding area and Texas culture.

The design depiction of team and city history included some neat artwork including a Nolan Ryan ball & bat display and several murals. There is a Nolan Ryan statue outside the main entrance. The retired numbers are on the arches in outfield and team championship flags displayed high above the outfield.

There isn’t a great skyline view from the stadium due to location and that it’s enclosed. Six Flags coasters, the old stadium (now named Choctaw Stadium), and Texas Live! peek through the outfield glass windows.

The functionality including ease of getting around and accessing main area was decent. You can complete the entire loop on both the main levels. The arched outfield on the upper level is really neat and reminded us of the old stadium’s outfield design. They were fun to walk through and have nice views of the surrounding area from the walkway or one of the outdoor access balconies. Changing levels wasn’t particularly easy, however, as escalators and stairs were hard to find. Elevators were more abundant but had long wait times.

The seats are at a steeper angle to the field than at most stadiums. Even though we were high up, we were still close to the field. It seemed like the stadium was squished into too small a space which caused them to cram the seats in vertically. We also had a little trouble finding an unobstructed view of the field since there’s a rail that covers the home plate view from most of the seats. We ended up in section 316 row 7 which had a clear view of the entire infield but slight obstruction in right field.

There were two giant video boards on both the left and right field sides. The designs were very aesthetically pleasing with minimal large/distracting ads and matching styles. They have a nice faux wood background and dark green around the scores, very similar to retro scoreboards. Towering over center field is a large vertical scoreboard with a large Texas digital clock on top.

Location

The stadium is located in Arlington, Texas, right next to the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, the old Rangers stadium (Choctaw), Six Flags, and the Texas Live! entertainment complex. These provide plenty of options for activities before or after the game.

Globe Life Field was built in conjunction with Texas Live! This complex features a hotel, convention center, courtyard, retail stores, restaurants and clubs. We briefly checked this out before the game, and it’s very similar to the STL Ballpark Village. They even had a Sports & Social and PBR.

The stadium was easy to reach via driving, and we recommend parking near the old stadium and the exit to George Bush. We didn’t run into any traffic trying to get out of this lot. It was pretty pricey at $25. Public transit didn’t look very prominent, and we saw quite a few people waiting in lines for shuttle buses. Safety of the surrounding area seemed great with all the nice stadiums and entertainment districts surrounding it.

Concessions

The food quality and originality was excellent with numerous local options and “everything is bigger in Texas” offerings! The Boomstick, a 3 lb, 2 foot hotdog smothered in chili, cheese, and jalapeños, was remarkable with great flavor! It’s served in a giant cardboard open top briefcase. It had an even distribution of ingredients and the bun didn’t get soggy. We shared it with 4 people, which was just the right amount per person. We got it before the start of the game near section 132 at the “24” food booth.

Pluckers Wing Bar and Golden Chick are two other Texas favorites that serve up chicken and loaded fries.

Blue Bell ice cream is the dessert of choice with a large serving area in the main level and small stands throughout. We got the cookies and cream waffle bowl. The ice cream was very creamy with large chunks of Oreo. The waffle bowl was a disappointment as the ice cream was served in a plastic bowl that was placed in a shallow waffle bowl that was more akin to a rimmed drink coaster than a bowl.

Beverage quality and variety was good. We opted to go big with the beer bat, which holds 26 ounces of draft beer at roughly $1/oz. We were hoping for the local Karbach but had to settle for Mango Cart. It was a hit posing with our beer bats!

There were numerous Barrel Up stands that served a variety of draft beers, seltzer, wine, and mixed drinks including margaritas.

Amenities

The Karbach Brewing area was the most prominent hangout area on the upper left field featuring foosball and cornhole. The 4-21 Food Hall was another fun lounge area with sofas, chairs, and benches for adults to chill and enjoy a drink.

The upper level outfield sections featured all-inclusive buffets. The Jim Ross Suite Level (2nd level) has the typical air conditioned special suites. Scott and Sean stumbled into the lower concourse which has suite rooms and uncrowded restaurants.

Family friendly activities consisted of two small kids areas on the upper level, including netted areas for kids to speed pitch or hit a wiffle ball.

Restroom quantity and quality was quite good with automation on everything. The stalls were very sturdy and they had soap/paper towel dispensers at every sink. Seating comfort including leg space and ease to reach was quite ergonomic. The arm rests were curved like an office chair and the plastic chairs were flexible.

The team stores were pretty typical with one large one on the main level and small stands throughout. They had a cool jersey conveyor at one of the stands. They had a small authentics stand. There wasn’t a museum or much featured baseball history anywhere other than a few jerseys on the wall and some artwork.

Culture

The overall atmosphere including music, sound, and fan activities was very lively. We went to a great game with the Rangers shutting out the White Sox 8-0 so there was a lot to cheer about! It was a sold out game and was quite crowded in the stands and concessions.

The “Make Some Noise” cues on the video boards really pumped up the crowds. We were surprised at the immediate response from the crowd. It was quite loud, which could be because of the enclosed stadium.

The Mariachis De Los Texas Rangers that came out after the 2nd inning were a fun surprise and the crowd enthusiastically sang along in Spanish! Singing “Friends in Low Places” with word prompts on the big screen was a blast! They played the same power play music that they play a Blues games to pump up the fans and of course I did the power play motions.

Fans got the wave going on all levels, which was pretty impressive. This is one of the few stadiums (besides Busch) where we’ve seen this level of participation.

Golden Chick Dot Race was silly and staged. The red dot slammed the other colors into the wall. Christa’s friend got to play the dice toss game between innings, which was fun seeing the large dice fall into the field.

We wore Cardinals jerseys which a few people noticed. These were good conversation starters and everyone was friendly (despite the fact that our team won the 2011 World Series against them in brutal style).

The integration of franchise history in game and design was pretty minimal. This is likely because they don’t have an extensive winning history as they were established in 1961 and don’t have any World Series titles. Most of the activities were Texas or local business themed. The Rangers are celebrating their franchise’s 50th Anniversary so this logo was featured throughout.

The mascot, Rangers Captain, is a palomino horse. He showed up to host the kids race to steel a base in between innings and carried the Rangers flag after the win.

Celebration of monumental moments included fireworks streaking blue and red after a home run, and the Rangers flag driven across the field after a victory. We enjoyed the “Bye Bye Bye” playing during the opposing team pitching change.

Summary & Scoring

Date Visited: August 6, 2022
Game Played: Rangers 8, White Sox 0 – Box score. Blowout with former Cardinal Adolis García leading the way with 5 RBIs, HR by Ezequiel Duran
Design: 2.3 out of 5 stars Retractable roof with AC, archways in outfield, steep seating with obstructed views, limited franchise history featured, skyline limited to surrounding entertainment
Location: 4 out of 5 stars – Texas Live!, Cowboys Stadium, Six Flags, but far from Dallas
Concessions: 4.1 out of 5 stars
Everything’s bigger in Texas with the Boomstick and Beer Bat!
Amenities: 3.5 out of 5 stars – Karbach Brewing hangout, 4-21 Food Hall lounge, small kids areas
Culture: 3.9 out of 5 stars – Lively fans that sing along and start the wave
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 starsDespite being the newest stadium, this one is far from our favorite. While it does have some memorable concession offerings and has the excellent Texas Live! just outside its gates, the stadium lacks distinct features to set it apart.

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