Friday, June 26, 2009

Mike's Review: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

We arrive in Arlington Texas to find a temperature of 100 degrees. It's a dry heat, so it could have been worse. Unlike their neighbors to the east, the Ballpark in Arlington does not have a roof and air conditioning. We were fine for this game, but I don't know how they play 81 games a year during the Texas summer.

The Ballpark
The Texas Rangers have a stadium that is very appropriate for their name, and definitely fits the state of Texas. While the stadium fits in well in Arlington, it would look out of place in, say, Philly. The Ballpark in Arlington is a Stadium – it's enormous, it carries the feeling that you're watching a grand stage. The tall two tiered bleachers behind right field resemble the stands you'd find alongside race tracks. The office building in center field has a balcony on every floor, lined with the facade that matches the rest of the stadium. Even without the stars that are built into every part of the architecture, it is pretty clear this ballpark belongs in Texas. It looks great, it's unique, and with fans in cowboy hats it's a fun place to watch Rangers baseball.
Around the upper deck is a large open air concourse. While you can't see what's happening on the field when you're in line for beer and hot dogs, you do have a fantastic view of the sunset, which is pretty amazing in Texas. There was a lightning storm miles away from Arlington during our game, and you could see a mix of a lightning show next to the sunset over the new Cowboys stadium behind first base. I was looking forward to the Ballpark in Arlington from what I've seen on TV, and it's unique local flare exceeded my expectations. Despite the heat, the Ballpark is a great place to catch a game. Local Beer Highlight: ZeigenBock
4 / 5

The Game and Fans
The Rangers shutout the NL West leading Dodgers to win 6-0. The matchup was a good one, both teams leading their western divisions, but the game was sloppy and the scoring one sided. The teams combined for three errors and the Dodgers barely showed up to play – but the Rangers fans made a lot of noise as they eagerly watched their first place team. Although it was a distraction from the game, there were loud crowd reactions at every impressive bolt of lightning that shot across the sky around the ballpark, and only a few people felt they needed to depart from the upper deck.
2.5 / 5

We didn't get a chance to see Dallas or Fort Worth, but Arlington is not a bad place for a ballpark at all. Unlike other cities that have ballparks nowhere close to a big downtown area, Arlington is still a place people would want to go to. Although I would definitely prefer a downtown surrounded by bars and restaurants to see a ballgame, Arlington does have the original Six Flags over Texas.
City: (Arlintgon?) 1.5 / 5
Neighborhood: 2.5 / 5

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