Rangers Ballpark renovations progressing nicely

Rangers Ballpark renovations progressing nicely
ARLINGTON -- Rain did not stop Manhattan Construction workers from putting in another day of work at the Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday.

The Rangers feel confident that the latest renovations will be completed well in time for the team's home opener on April 5 against the Angels.

"I feel good about where we are," said Rangers vice president of ballpark operations Rob Matwick. "Substantial completion date is March 22. We have a college game on March 19 between UTA and TCU. We need to be ready for that."

Most of the renovations are being done in the concourse and private club behind home plate. Get ready for the "60-foot-6" area leading from the concourse adjacent to the Home Plate Entrance into the lower seating bowl. Baseball fans recognize that as the distance between home plate and the pitcher's mound, but it's also the width of the newly created entry way that's the centerpiece of the renovations.

The idea was to give fans an immediate view of the playing field and access to lower bowl seating as they come through the Home Plate Entrance. But the more tangible benefit is the greater room and less traffic that will be created with the renovations.

The former West Side ticket office is being turned into a retail store, but four new permanent concession stands are also being built in that area. What the Rangers are planning on is the new permanent food venues will replace the portable kiosks that blocked the way in a high-traffic area of the Ballpark.

"Those portable concession stands caused a lot of traffic," Matwick said. "One big benefit is this will open up the walkway. It was pretty bad."

The private club, which will now be called the Capital One Club, continues to undergo significant renovations. New rows of seats are being put in place behind home plate and both dugouts are being widened an extra three feet.

"It gives the players more breathing room," Matwick said.