I’ve been running this site since December 1998, and in that time there’s been two things on my site that no other Texas Rangers fan site has done that I’m aware of.
One is a history of the uniform numbers for the entire franchise history. That one got me some notice. Victor Rojas name checked me a few times with Eric Nadel on radio broadcasts regarding this when he was still with Texas. You can view that here if you’d like.
The other is a feature that I call my “Seat Selector”. It’s a feature that’s on many a website. In fact, there’s an entire site dedicated to the concept (that you should check out if you haven’t). Many a moon ago (back during the first season this site was active, which was 1999), I went around the park, took a picture of every section, and put it on the website. But there’s more to the story than just that. Check it out..
Back in 1999, I was looking around the Dallas Stars site and saw that they had a feature where you could click on the seating chart and it would show you what the ice looked like from that section. I thought it was a cool feature, so I looked at the Texas Rangers site, figuring they’d have it (at the time, they were both run by the same Internet firm). The Rangers didn’t – I was surprised by that, so I wrote a couple of people at the Rangers. I offered my time, my equipment, my work (for free, no less), and was told they weren’t interested. OK, fine, I decided I’d do it myself. On Thursday July 22, 1999 I went to the Ballpark early with a digital camera and took pictures in all the sections. I started in Section 3 (the lowest numbered section), and worked my way around section by section. I’d take a picture, move to the next one, take another picture, etc. This progressed until I circled all four levels of the ballpark. It took me about an hour and a half to visit all the sections and get pictures from all of them (including a few minute break between levels ). It was hard work (especially in 100 degree weather), and I was quite tired at the end of it, but I managed to pull it off. At the time, there was 177 sections in the Ballpark. In 2000 it went to 178 with the addition of the Commissioner’s Box, and then in mid 2004 it went back to 177 when Section 201 was removed to put in the “Ameriquest Bell”. Later on, the Rangers deleted Section 43 (aka “The Wedgie”) as a sellable section, then converted it to a party/rental section. But no true “new sections” since then, just extensions of existing sections.
Since the original publication of this back in 1999, I’ve updated this a few times. I first updated it in January of 2003 with bigger and better quality photos. On September 28, 2002 I took a much better quality digital camera with me to a game, and retook all of the pictures. When I put this newer group of photos online, I created three different sizes of photos geared towards folks who have larger screen resolutions. The original 1999 photos comprise the smaller edition, and the 2003 update comprises the two larger ones. Also over time, I’ve added several “non seating” areas. Things like the visitor’s bullpen, Green’s Hill and several other hidden surprises. You’ll find them all if you hover your mouse around areas of the seating chart below that do not have any seat section on them.
This was updated again in July/August of 2007. The site itself got a major overhaul due to a new version of the blog software used to drive the site. Due to that, I changed the method used to display the images. The images themselves are unchanged since my last overhaul in 2003, but now they’re shown on the same page. The old method had a popup, which meant I had to have a separate page for each version. This new method implemented in the summer of 2007 means I can drop about 600 HTML pages from the site – a nice thing on my end.
The most recent update in April 2012 was a complete redo from scratch (several of the previous updates reused bits from older versions). I retook all the photos on April 9th, and coded the new version on April 10th. This time also including the underlying seating chart map. This was mostly necessitated by the total overhaul the Rangers did in Vandergriff Plaza after the 2011 season. It was the first true overhaul of the seating chart since the 1999 original – it was overdue. The main reason I never updated it wholesale was the fact that I’d have to retrace the imagemap coordinates for the seating chart image. If you want an example of that, go look at the page source code for the seat selector.
Anyway, there was one exception to the picture retake on April 9th. The sections that comprise the upper home run porch are now for All You Can Eat Seats. When I went to go over there, I was told that I needed a ticket for those sections to go up there, so I did not retake those. Sections 246-252 are using the pictures I took on the 2009 photo shoot. Not much has changed from that angle in those sections, so the Ballpark itself would have looked the same; so I let it go.
I enjoyed putting this together, and I hope you do too. Click on the image above to get to the Seat Selector, or look under the “Team Info” menu option at the top of the page. If you have any comments or feedback regarding this, I’d really honestly love to hear from you. Thanks.