I took a tour of the new Rangers park earlier this week, on Monday in the first hour public tours were available. I tried to get the FIRST tour, which was Monday at 10AM, but that and the second tour were already sold out within 3 minutes, I got the third one at 10:45AM. So off I went to Arlington, a drive I’ve made out I-30 a boatload of times over the years, but this one was odd. Going to our new park for the first time since it was completed, but NOT for a baseball game. This is the story of what I saw…
I got there a little early, and I looked around the gift shop (which seems larger overall, but the space inbetween items is still just a small as the old place. They didn’t use the additional space in the gift shop to make it easier to walk in there, they used it to put more stuff in there.
At the start of the tour (which was 12 people), we were told right off that we were not allowed to sit in the seats, something about cleaning the place and covid, so we were asked not to do that. That kind of bummed me out a little, because I wanted to sit in my actual season ticket seat.
We then went up to the upper deck, and stood on a platform next to the out of town vertical scoreboard. Oddly enough the platform was right next to the scoreboard, you can actually touch the scoreboard’s LEDs – which surprised me. This is the scoreboard that was brought over from the old park that used to be in left field, and is now vertical in center.
After that we walked around the upper deck, and stopped at certain vantage points. One was the concourse in the upper LF area, where you can see all the brick arches – which were designed to look like the old park. You get a great view of the old park out the window, too. Our tour guide said the idea was to have the brick arches on this side of the new park to mirror the architecture of the old park.
In the upper deck was a really awesome piece of art. Was “Texas Rangers” made out of all the uniforms the team has had in the past. Don’t know whose idea that was, but it was some great looking art. There’s a picture of it in my photos. Speaking of art, there were plenty of pictures of players, and moments from the past, plus the Feliz/Molina hug is there, too.
We stopped and checked out the brew area and the rocking chairs in the upper LF corner. I still wish I could have bought my season tickets out there, but you can’t – group sales only. It does look like a fun area, I’ll definitely have to find a way to sit in one of those rocking chairs.
Walked around a bit, and since we walked right by my season ticket spot, I broke off for about 30 seconds, and went and took a pic standing from where my season ticket is. It’s the first time I’ve seen my view since the park has been completed. It’s as awesome as I had hoped, can’t wait to see a game from there. Those who follow my stuff know what my POV was in the old park. Here’s a picture of my new location vs the old location. In case anyone was wondering, yes it was more expensive, but not by an obscene amount of money. It cost me $6 more per game for this seat, which including a new ballpark, and a much better vantage point isn’t a bad deal at all.
We were able to look out of the visitor’s radio booth, which has a nice view. I was lucky enough to spend an inning last year with Eric & Matt during a game while they broadcasted on air – I hope to be able to do that here, too.
We then went all the way to the lower level, and looked out some of those Field Suites that are behind home plate, and technically lower than the playing surface. It’s an nice view down there, and probably one I’ll never get to experience. I’m not one of those people that has that kind of money, so unless I score an invite, I’m not doing that. It is a unique view, however. That has been in the Angels park for quite some time, and I’ve always wondered what that looks like. I have a pic below, so I can imagine it a bit better now.
The visitors clubhouse looks significantly less enticing than the Rangers one. While we weren’t allowed in there because players were on the field, there was video posted which shows the Rangers one, and it’s much nicer than the visitors. Here’s that video, and a picture of the visitor’s clubhouse:
We got to see one batting cage, was the indoor one for the visitors. We were told the Rangers have two of them. I asked our tour guide if the turf on the batting cages was the same as on the field, and he didn’t know. It doesn’t look like it to me, but I’m not a big turf expert.
The final area we were in was a club area, which was quite cool. It’s large, and runs down the third base side. It’s got a bar area with tables, and it looks out at field level right down the LF line. There’s multiple pictures of this. The area is lower than the seating bowl, and buts up against the far end of the visitors’ dugout. There’s also a screen ABOVE you, so you won’t be able to get foul balls in there at all – or more importantly hit on the head while you’re down there.
They also had this cool locker thing in this club where you can order things from the gift shop. They have a touch screen with every single item available in the gift shop, you can order stuff from there, pay for it, and someone will go fetch it for you and leave it in a locker which you can pick up when you leave. Cool idea. I wouldn’t mind someone fetching my gift shop purchases for me.
That was the last place we saw, our final walk was around the lower concourse back around to the gift shop area where the tour officially ends. However we walked past various Rangers dignitaries (including Chuck Morgan) and beat writers who were covering a press conference about the newly viewable “Shadow boxes”. These are on the back side of the arches where the retired numbers are. It is a created piece of art for each of the retired numbers including a plaque about them. I have some pictures of this below for the Johnny Oates one, including a cool pic where I stood at the front and looked ALLLLLL the way up at the retired “26” number way up high. The Rangers put out a video on the shadowboxes a couple of hours after I visited, you can view that here:
On the way out, I got to talk to Evan Grant, TR Sullivan, Chris Halicke, & Chuck Morgan. In fact, I got so distracted talking to Evan & Chuck that I lost my tour group, and ended up leaving on my own. Chuck even sought ME out, saying “I thought that was your voice I heard over here”. Fun time talking to these guys.
Finally, they gave everyone a mask for the tour. They said these will NOT be sold, so it’s kind of a collector’s item. I have a picture of that too, although I didn’t wear it, I brought my own.
Like everyone else, I wish I could be watching a baseball game, but I enjoyed coming out here. Was fun to see. I have a second tour scheduled for Tue the 9th, hopefully I’ll get to see some other stuff.
One last bit. When I was walking around to the place where the shadowboxes were, there was a guy with a camera and pointed it right at me and took my picture. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but he must have liked it, as it got published on Lone Star Ball the next day. Turns out the guy who took the picture was Tim Heitman, doing some freelance photography for USA Today Sports. :)
Here’s a collection of other photos I took during the tour (I actually took a LOT more than this), but don’t fit into the story terribly well above…