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Manfred: Globe Life Field 'absolutely amazing'

@Sullivan_Ranger
November 19, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Could the MLB All-Star Game be coming to Globe Life Field in the next few years? Commissioner Rob Manfred hinted that could be the case after touring the Globe Life Field construction site on Tuesday afternoon. “We always try to bring jewel events to communities that have stepped

ARLINGTON -- Could the MLB All-Star Game be coming to Globe Life Field in the next few years?

Commissioner Rob Manfred hinted that could be the case after touring the Globe Life Field construction site on Tuesday afternoon.

“We always try to bring jewel events to communities that have stepped forward, supported baseball, participated in the development of projects like this,” Manfred said. “I think it is reasonable that pattern will continue.”

The Rangers have hosted the All-Star Game once. That was in 1995 in the second year of the Ballpark in Arlington. MLB has assigned the 2020 All-Star Game to Dodger Stadium, and the 2021 Midsummer Classic will be held in Atlanta at SunTrust Park, which the Braves opened in 2017.

“Usually, when we have a community like Arlington that has stepped forward, supported a development like this, we try to bring an All-Star Game there relatively proximate to the opening,” Manfred said. “So, without making a commitment, I think that is reasonable to assume.”

Globe Life Park is scheduled to open for the 2020 season, and construction continues around the clock to meet the final deadline of March 1. The Rangers remain confident that will happen. The final piece of structural steel was installed on Monday.

“We are hitting all our milestones,” Rangers senior vice president of project development Jack Hill said. “Everything is on schedule as we had planned it. Manhattan [Construction] has given us a plan to finish each individual area, and each of those has a milestone attached to it.”

Up top, workers continue to finish installing the 9,600-ton retractable roof structure. It will be fully opened later this week to complete that work and then fully closed in December to finish up. The roof has to be sealed to make sure the ballpark is truly climate controlled.

The Rangers have already tested the roof’s retractable mechanics. After it is finished, the Rangers could use a good winter rain shower to test the roof’s overall performance. That means no leaks anywhere.

Down below, the foul poles are being installed and the dugouts are being completed. The artificial playing surface will be installed after January 1. Outside, glass is complete on the south, east and west sides while being 70 percent finished on the north side.

“I love the light that is going to be available in this ballpark, even when the roof is closed,” Manfred said. “The glass that surrounds so much of the stadium will be great for the fans. Secondly, the proximity of the seating generally, suites as well as seating to the field, will be great for the fans and fan-friendly.”

Elsewhere, the construction is much the same as on the average residential house, only on a grander scale. Drywall is being installed, tile work is being laid in restrooms, cabinets and kitchen equipment are being brought in and carpentry work is ongoing in suites and offices. The building has working heating and plumbing.

“The ballpark looks absolutely amazing,” Manfred said. “This is going to be another step forward for the industry in terms of the standard for ballpark construction. The advantages for the fans here in Arlington and the Metroplex are so obvious. The ability to have a covered stadium and to be open when the weather permits is a great thing and great for the fans.

“Hats off to the city of Arlington in terms of being so forthcoming. Ray Davis, Neil Leibman, the entire Rangers partnership that put this thing together. It makes baseball even more appealing for this metropolitan area. I think fans’ enjoyment of what we think is the greatest product in the world is really being enhanced by the commitment the community has made to this project.”

The $1.2 billion facility covers 1.8 million square feet on 13 acres with a seating capacity of approximately 40,300. The Rangers are scheduled to play the Cardinals in an exhibition game on March 23, 2020, with the first regular-season game scheduled for Opening Day on March 31 against the Angels.

“I have never been more excited than my team is about Globe Life Field,” Rangers executive vice president Joe Januszewski said. “This is going to be a game-changer for our community, all of us. We can sniff the finish line, and it is going to be spectacular come March.”

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.