Texas Rangers may want new stadium because old one is 21 years old and doesn’t have a roof and, yeah

If you had the Texas Rangers in the “Who will be the next team that got a new stadium in the ’90s to be rumored to be looking for a new one barely 20 years later after the Atlanta Braves?” pool, congratulations, for you are a winnah!

The Rangers, who began the season in miserable shape, have turned in a remarkable second half of the season, running their way up the standings and currently sitting 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros in first place of the American League West. And yet despite the storybook season, the Rangers are pulling terrible attendance numbers…

The attendance problems are likely to contribute to speculation that, perhaps, the time is ripe to push for a Rangers relocation to downtown Dallas. According to the Star-Telegram, Dallas city officials have denied that they are trying to woo the Rangers. However, the team has said they’d really love a stadium with a retractable roof. That sounds a bit like an invitation to suitors.

If that sounds overly speculative even for sportswriters on a slow day, you’ll get little argument from the evidence: Let’s see, there’s an article from early 2014 that notes the Rangers “remain one of the few teams located in a searing summer climate without a roof,” then one from a little later in 2014 that says “rumors have swirled that the club might be looking to move to Dallas and build a stadium with a retractable roof,” and oh look, here’s one from D Magazine (same source as yesterday’s story) way back in 2011 that said the Rangers’ stadium in Arlington is ugly and one in Dallas would be maybe less so (and roofed) and … anything with anybody from the Rangers actually saying for attribution that they want a new stadium? Anyone? No?

What’s going on here is twofold: First off, the Rangers’ lease expires in 2024, so everyone is speculating on what will happen then, even though the team’s owners would be insane to leave the nation’s fifth-largest TV market for, well, anywhere. Second, and more important, is that even more than Atlanta, where Cobb County decided to throw $300 million at the Braves to steal them away from the big bad inner city, the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area is made up of a bunch of different localities that can fight over a team. And that means lots of people spreading rumors, whether it’s local officials or writers for single-lettered magazines or whatever. And some of these rumors may even turn out to be true — again, with lots of different elected bodies on the prowl, if your lease is up it’s a great way to get a bidding war going, and that floats your boat.

Yesterday’s D Magazine story goes on to give a whole bunch of reasons why a new stadium in Dallas would be awesomer than an old new stadium in Arlington (“The young people heading back to Uptown and thinking about which patio to hit for happy hour would see the stadium looming just a hop away”!), without ever considering that the big difference is you don’t have to build a stadium in Arlington, because it’s already there. For a billion dollars or whatever a stadium is going to go for in 2024, you could pay people to stand on streetcorners (or whatever they have in Dallas — traffic medians?) and hand out maps to downtown Dallas and coupons for free drinks, or whatever the kids of tomorrow will be into.

Most important to note: Whatever you think of the stadium in Arlington, the reason why it’s being considered for replacement rather than the Colorado Rockies‘ stadium or the Baltimore Orioles‘ or the Cleveland Indians‘ has nothing to do with whether it’s a good place to see a ballgame, or even the local weather. It’s about how easy it might be to get somebody else nearby to consider building a new one. Same as it ever was.


5 comments on “Texas Rangers may want new stadium because old one is 21 years old and doesn’t have a roof and, yeah

  1. Wait. Hold all tickets. We have an Inquiry. In order to win this contest the rumor should have to come from the team. Otherwise any writer, at any news source (D magazine?) could just make something up in order to win the prize. (say, maybe that’s what just happened.) For example, I just saw that the Atlanta Falcons are rumored to be demanding a new stadium to replace the one currently under construction. (of course I made that up an posted it myself, but you see the flaw?)

  2. Okay, when will fan bases just tell these owners to kindly go bleep themselves? I was on board with replacing the Metrdome, but unlike Fedex Field, Rangers’ ballpark, every facility in Georgia that’s under 20 years-old, the metrodome was actually a dump! I know the Dallas area will cave, because it’s a red state, and they just love handling out breaks to billionaires.

    Watch out Houston Astros fans, you’re mext! Every professional sports team that’s south of the Mason/Dixon is giving away free stadiums to those poor defenseless, helpless billionaires!

  3. Mark: Would we count “sources close to the team,” then?

    I can see these tickets are going to have a lot of fine print on the back.

  4. I think it’s funny the stadium being ‘ugly’ is a reason someone thinks a retractable roof stadium should be built. Has this person *seen* what any retractable roof baseball stadiums look like??! They don’t get nicknames like the bagel slicer for no good reason.

  5. Until you’ve been to a night game that starts at over 100 degrees F and finishes above 90 degrees F, you really can’t judge The Ballpark at Arlington / Insurance Field. Then throw in a Sunday afternoon game in August (why do they schedule these?) and you start wanting to hand over money from heat exhaustion.

    Who builds a ballpark in the Dallas area with almost no overhang? It’s like the chief architect back in the early 1990s said, “they will enjoy the heat – ha, ha, ha, ha, ha” (I use James Earl Jones for that line). The little tiny overhang in the upper deck doesn’t do much good. In the lower deck the only shade is the last 5-10 rows and then you can’t see the main scoreboard (very high up in right field) and fly balls. The Club Level has *no* overhang at all. It has air conditioned ice cream sales areas but no air conditioned concourses on the Club Level.

    Twice we have been to Globe Life Field and had to leave our seats for a tornado / severe lightning warning. Once the hail was so bad we had to go down to the lower concourses where the clubhouses are. To give the field credit even after torrential rains, the game usually resumes.

    But, it is insane to have built this place where it is without a retractable roof or any type of overhang.

    I talked with an architect who was bidding on a large renovation for Globe Life Park. The Globe Life Park open area is very large and too large for a retractable roof. So it can’t be retrofitted without a Yankee Stadium-type circa-1974-1976 large large scale renovation.

    So, please sit at that place in the middle of August (night or day) and see if you don’t start thinking about how much you really want to be indoors. Until you’ve tried it, it’s hard to understand how much people stay away because of the ballpark. I blame the original architects and the Rangers owners at that time (trivia question – what former U.S. President was also involved in the design of the Ballpark at Arlington?)

    BTW, Minute Maid has all of the feature that the Rangers want, so no need for any threats yet – although I’m sure Mr. Crane will have his hand out for something soon. I really don’t have any respect for the current Astros ownership “team”. Truly low class people in my opinion.

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