Highlights from Trip to Rangers Ballpark
I spent the weekend at the Twins-Rangers series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Twins return there in August, so in case someone is going to that series, here are some of my observations and advice.
- Basically, it's a great time to be a Rangers fan. The place was packed every night, and there was nary a fan not wearing a red or blue Rangers shirt. I've never seen such a high percentage of fans in a stadium wearing a team jersey. Very kid-friendly.
- Of every stadium I've been to (15), Rangers fans were the most glued to the game. Very few fans seemed to stray from their seats. It seemed everyone's eyes were completely on the action and everyone paid very close attention to every pitch. Of course, that may just come with the territory being back-to-back AL champs.
- It was HOT. Very, very hot during the day. The heat during BP was too much to handle for many. But with that said, when the sun goes down it gets moderately comfortable. The temps were in the low 80s by the time Saturday's game ended.
- Mike Napoli is absolutely beloved there. He seems to be riding his strong World Series play well into this season despite some lesser numbers across the board. I saw almost as many Napoli t-shirts and jerseys as Hamilton.
- There was a scattering of Twins fans in the crowd. I was taunted a number of times, but overall treated pretty well as an opposing fan. One drunken Ranger fan got up in my face and screamed "YOU SUCK!" and some residual saliva landed on me as he walked out of the pro shop.
- The giant bold of lightning Sunday night was the single loudest noise I've ever heard. Kids were crying. I don't think TV did it justice. Just glad I wasn't on a coaster at the Six Flags behind the stadium when it struck!
- The stadium is nearly 20 years old now and, although still nice, doesn't quite compare to some of the newer ones. I wasn't able to see the game from the concourse in 90% of the stadium. The concourse walkways were very packed and at times narrow. Not quite Metrodome, but definitely not Target Field in that aspect. The video board is only visible to about 75% of the stadium, and it was somewhat difficult to follow the pitch count and player stats.
- Same as anywhere, beer was expensive. Not a lot of interesting or unusual beers sold here. I didn't see many tempting local concessions either, but the cracked black pepper sausage was pretty good.
- The Rangers PR department is sure reveling the large number of All-Stars on the roster. Every player was introduced multiple times as "2012 American League All-Star." Well, I guess if you have a dozen people going to the game including coaches and staff, why not?
- The stadium is built in a very entertainment-oriented part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. It is surrounded by Cowboy Stadium, Six Flags, and Hurricane Harbor. There were free trolleys from all the hotels, but they were packed. Parking was expensive but convenient and not ridiculously jammed getting in and out of the stadium area. I didn't realize how far out of both Dallas and Fort Worth the city of Arlington is. It's a 10-mile drive to Dallas and 20 to Ft Worth. The JFK museum in Dallas was worth the time though. And for the ladies, my wife found a famous yarn store in Ft Worth she thoroughly enjoyed. There were nothing but chain restaurants near the stadium though, not much local or ethnic.
- If you ever have the chance, definitely do the Cowboy Stadium tour. For $17, you have free range of the entire field. There were kids climbing the field goal post and grown men playing a 2-on-2 game at midfield. Very cool experience!