Rangers Ballpark Renovations on Time for Opening Day
By Office of Communication
Posted on February 15, 2012, February 15, 2012

A $12 million renovation of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, including a mass overhaul of Vandergriff Plaza, is scheduled to be completed on time, Rangers officials said Wednesday during a media tour of the construction zone.

Manhattan Construction crews and subcontractors are expected to be done with their work by March 20, well in advance of the Rangers' Opening Day, against the Chicago White Sox on April 6.

The mild winter has been the equivalent of a Nelson Cruz grand slam for construction workers.

" If we had had the winter we had last year, that would have made this a lot more difficult,' said Wesley Weaver, a senior project manager for Manhattan whose crews were already working on a short time frame.

The Rangers announced shortly after the end of the World Series their plans for stadium upgrades that intended to enhance the fan experience.

Among the improvements is a completely renovated and roomier Vandergriff Plaza.

Club officials are hopeful that the new configuration, which now includes a walkway in left field between the seating and the Diamond Club, will encourage fans to gather there.

Once housing the Kids' Zone, the plaza now has four large concession stands surrounding the statue of Nolan Ryan, and a covered area for fans to stand and watch the action from center field. A large video board is anchored behind the back wall of the Batter's Eye Club, a new 6,250-square foot, air-conditioned indoor bar right behind Greene's Hill.

Once complete, the Batter's Eye will be enclosed with a full glass wall facing the field with room for about 100 people. The club will mostly be available for rental only.

In addition to a Rangers-themed sports bar and grill in the back of the plaza, which will accommodate between 200-220, the team has added about 23,000-square feet of air-conditioned space.

" That was one of the primary drivers for this area was to provide shade for protection from the sun and the rain,' said Rob Matwick, Rangers executive vice president/ballpark operations.

The Kids' Zone has also been moved indoors. It will include a climbing wall and spot for wiffle ball.

The sports bar, which will be operated by the team's concessionaire, Sportsservice, will include studio space for Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Radio. Right now, the name of the bar is The Sports Bar, though Matwick said the team will likely entertain bids from advertisers to brand.

Aluminum bleacher seating on each side of Greene's Hill in center field will be replaced with standard seating. The left-center field seating will overlook an adjusted visitor's bullpen that now runs parallel to the outfield wall.

The stadium and the improvements are good for Arlington, officials said.

" Hopefully it will mean incremental tax revenue and an opportunity to bring more people here,' said Matwick. " That's what we're all about here in the entertainment district.'

" That's what we do. Bring more people to Arlington.'

By John Henry

Rangers Ballpark

Texas Rangers
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