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Hicks wants Rangers to start at home

Hicks wants Rangers to start at home

ARLINGTON -- Rangers owner Tom Hicks said he has brought it to Commissioner Bud Selig's attention that the Rangers have opened on the road in seven of the last eight seasons and that needs to change.

"He said he would look into it and get back to me," Hicks said before the Rangers' home opener against the Orioles on Tuesday. "He doesn't know why a warm-weather team like ours doesn't open at home. It's a mysterious process. He promised to look into it. I know we had a spurt in the '90's when we opened at home, but this is getting ridiculous."

The Rangers opened the season at home in 2006 against the Red Sox but that's the only time they have done so since 2000. The Rangers opened the season this year in Seattle and then went to Anaheim before returning to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday.

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The Rangers took a 3-3 record into the home opener, but this was the first chance for Hicks to see his team in person. Liverpool had a Champions League game against Arsenal on Tuesday night in England, but Hicks declined a chance to see his English football team play. He preferred to stay home and see his baseball team instead.

"I wouldn't miss Opening Day for anything," Hicks said, as he watched batting practice. "I'd rather be here. This is my favorite day in baseball."

The Rangers were expecting a sellout for the home opener, but Hicks admitted that there is going to be some inconvenience for the fans this season, because of multiple construction issues going on around the Ballpark.

The Cowboys' stadium construction is ongoing, as are upgrades and improvements being made by the Texas Department of Transportation to I-30 exit/entrance ramps near the Ballpark.

"It's going to be tough at times with the construction," Hicks said. "We just want fans to bear with us. It will be better on the other side."

Construction is also expected to begin this season on Glorypark, the massive commercial development being built between the Ballpark and the Cowboys' new stadium. That will take away some parking, as lots are converted into garages and other development. Hicks said it could be three baseball seasons before everything is completed.

"It can't help but make it less convenient," Hicks admitted. "It's still much more convenient than most ballparks. The White Sox won the World Series [in 2005] and the next year they closed their freeway. But their fans still found them. We understand there will be some inconvenience, but we're going to do our best to make it as easy as possible."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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