Globe Life Field to host NLDS, NLCS, WS

September 15th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers and the city of Arlington spent $1.2 billion to build a state-of-the-art ballpark with a climate-controlled retractable roof, and now, Globe Life Field will be the centerpiece for Major League Baseball during the 2020 postseason.

That includes being the first neutral site in World Series history.

Globe Life Field, which opened this season, will be the site of one of the National League Division Series and the NL Championship Series. Game 1 of the 2020 World Series, which will air on FOX, is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Globe Life Field.

The best-of-five NL Division Series being held in Arlington is scheduled for Oct. 6-10. The NLCS is scheduled for Oct. 12-18. There are no off-days in any of the first three rounds of postseason.

“From an organization standpoint, with owners Neil Liebman and Ray Davis, we built a fantastic building,” said Rob Matwick, the Rangers' executive vice president for business operations. “It is now an opportunity for us to show it off to more people; hopefully, fans, but if not, the eyes of the nation and the eyes of the world will be on Arlington and Globe Life Field for the 116th World Series.

“And that, in and of itself, is a great compliment to our organization with great thanks to Commissioner [Rob] Manfred and his team for being willing to make the commitment to us and to believe in us … We’re the newest, and we believe we are the best ballpark in Major League Baseball.”

The state of Texas is allowing up to 50 percent capacity for sporting events, but Major League Baseball has yet to announce a decision on whether fans will be allowed to attend postseason games. Fifty percent capacity would mean about 20,000 fans per game at Globe Life Field.

“We hope we can have fans,” Arlington mayor Jeff Williams said. “But we’ve learned throughout [the coronavirus pandemic] we need to look at what is happening and respond accordingly. I’m sure we will wait to see how things are going with this virus.”

Williams said the Rangers and city of Arlington are working in concert with Major League Baseball, Tarrant County and Texas State's Health Department and Emergency Operations.

“We have discovered that masks, social distancing and hygiene are working as great tools to combat this virus,” Williams said. “We are going to be very responsible here as we move forward so that we can have a safe event.”

Williams said having postseason games and the World Series in Arlington will still be a tremendous boost for the area even if fans are not allowed to attend the games. Williams talked about the morale boost it will bring and jobs that will need be done to have the event even without fans.

“It’s real symbolic of our country getting back on its feet after a natural disaster in this pandemic,” Williams said. “We don’t know whether or not fans will be allowed, we don’t know how many, so we can’t sit here and tell you what the economic impact will be. But it is going to be a great boost for all of us to be able to see playoff baseball and World Series happen.”

The Rangers have had some experience with people attending events at Globe Life Field. The club hosted graduation events for 61 school districts this summer with up to 5,000 attendees. Concessions were not open.

“Not having fans is going to sting a little bit, because I would love to see that ballpark with fans,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “That's what it was built for. But just the quality of everything that's gone into building that thing from the clubhouses to the field itself. When you walk into that place, it's pretty fantastic.”

The retractable roof should assure all postseason games in Arlington will be played without any weather disruptions. Potentially cooler October weather in Texas offers the possibility that at least some of the games can be played with the roof open. The Rangers have played three of their first 26 regular-season games with the roof open.

Globe Life Field’s first scheduled game was supposed to be March 31 against the Angels until baseball was shut down for three months because of the COVID-19 crisis. The Rangers finally played an exhibition game there on July 21 against the Rockies, with the first in the regular season coming against Colorado on July 24.

The only drawback for the Rangers is the overwhelming likelihood that they won’t be playing in the first World Series at Globe Life Field. Texas is out of the race in the NL West, and is nine games back of a postseason spot.

“That part stings,” Woodward said. “We wanted to be the first team to play the postseason in our park. We should have played better. If you want to play in the postseason, you have to play better.

“But to hold an entire playoff run is going to be pretty special. I think every team that comes in there and they look around, they’ll say, 'This place is really nice.' Some of the teams that are going to be on our side are going to realize how nice the clubhouse and facilities are. They'll appreciate it for sure.”