While the Texas Rangers are still considering their options for the facility’s playing surface, the club indicates that Globe Life Field is being designed with natural grass in mind.
The retractable-roof Globe Life Field is currently under construction, and is envisioned as a facility that will host multiple types of events once it opens. Given that it is a retractable-roof ballpark and that some, but not all, non-Rangers events could require use of the field, speculation has arisen that the team will install an artificial playing surface.
For right now, the Rangers have not made a final decision and are still considering both artificial and natural grass as options for Globe Life Field’s playing surface. However, the team says that the ballpark is being designed with the ability to allow for the growth of a natural grass field. More from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“We’re building a building that certainly can be used 365 days a year, which Globe Life Park cannot. Part of that is the way teams do business these days, so we have to look at it that way,” said Rob Matwick, the Rangers’ executive vice president of business operations.
“But the thing to consider is baseball is always first and foremost. Our job every day when we come to the ballpark is to find a way to win the World Series. So those 81 games plus the playoffs are precious to us. When we started the design process on the ballpark, the first thing we did was look at how could we design a retractable roof building to grow grass, and we haven’t deviated from that.”
The concern that arose in September at the reveal of the most recent renderings is that the playing surface will be well below grade and perhaps too low for grass to grow well enough to survive a baseball season.
Matwick said that the field will be 50 feet below grade, some 20 feet lower than the fields at Globe Life Park and Minute Maid Park, home to the Houston Astros. Matwick, though, worked for Astros when Minute Maid was being built and remembers the trials the Astros encountered with their natural surface.
The Rangers broke ground on Globe Life Field in September, and currently anticipate a 2020 opening for the facility. At its current pace, Globe Life Field will be the first new ballpark to open in the majors since the debut of Atlanta’s SunTrust Park in 2017.
Rendering courtesy HKS and Texas Rangers.
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