Construction on Globe Life Field is rapidly progressing. Rob Matwick, Vice President of Business Operations, and Jack Hill, Sr. Vice President of Project Development, hosted a Q&A session for fans attending Saturday's game. Matwick and Hill answered all the questions surrounding the construction of Globe Life Field. Here's a peek into what the two discussed.
Q: What progress has been made in the past month?
A: We've made a lot of progress. Last month we put the first piece of steel over on the south side of the ballpark. As you can see now, that structure has now gone up four levels and is pretty much complete.
One of the biggest changes you can see since the last time we met, over on the far side, the rakers were in place, but now we've got actual pre-cast risers. That's what the seats will go on once we start that phase of the project. You can start to see that on the first base side, where we're a bit further along than on the right field side. That's the way the structure has started to move. Now we're actually behind home plate starting to make our way along the third base line.
What you're starting to see now is what we call the super structure, the steel frame going up where the office is. We've been very pleased with the progress. We're on schedule to be where we need to be at this point.
Q: What is the concrete structure that you can see? Are those what you will actually be sitting on?
A: Those are seating risers. When you go to your seat at Globe Life Park, those risers that your feet are on is what you're seeing over at Globe Life Field right now. That is what the seats will be attached to.
Q: What big projects are coming up?
A: This fall, one of our big milestones is that you'll start to see the start of the roof. You'll see a much larger crane coming out here and they'll start putting the roof together. It seems like that is pretty quick, which it is. It is a very fast paced project.
Q: How will the roof open and close?
A: The roof is one piece and it will move from east to west. Some of the other retractable field ballparks are multiple pieces. There are different ways to do it, but we felt like we wanted to have one piece. We think that by having one solid piece we'll have easier connections for when the roof is closed and we'll have a tighter roof up top to prevent any leaks.
Q: Who makes the determination on whether the roof is open or closed?
A: That's the determination of the home team in the regular season and MLB during the playoffs.
Q: How long will it take to open the roof?
A: In our experience it usually takes 10-12 minutes. It is hard to say until we actually have everything up and running.
Q: When the roof is closed, how will the temperature at Globe Life Field compare to Globe Life Park?
A: 110 degrees versus 72 degrees. I think we can all appreciate that it will be a better experience.
Q: How many people are on-site working on the project?
A: We have about 600 guys out here on a daily basis. That will grow at some point within the next year that will double.
Q: What about design and materials, what decisions are being made on that front?
A: We're starting to pick seats and we're looking at finished materials on the inside. We're really starting to look at the items that will give the building more character.
Recently, we started putting together what the materials on the outside are. It's a fast tracked job, so all of these decisions can't be made before you break ground. It's an ongoing process. You get the structure in place, you know where all the columns and piers are going, and then you make these other decisions. That's what we're doing right now, we're working hard to finalize the finishes on both the inside and the outside.
Q: What other events do you see taking place at Globe Life Field?
A: We think we will be able to compete in the concert business. We also want to become the center for high school and college baseball here in Texas. We want to get more people involved in playing on the field.
We've also looked at alternative configurations of the field, ranging from football to soccer, so we intend to be able to do those things. It will be up to us to see what we can get to come into the building, as well as what makes sense around the MLB schedule.
Q: When can I reserve a seat at Globe Life Park?
A: Fans can now place a deposit to secure a spot at the future home of the Texas Rangers by visiting TexasRangers.com/GlobeLifeField.
The new 1.7 million square foot ballpark, which will be located on 13 acres just south of the current Globe Life Park in Arlington, will open in March of 2020. Globe Life Field will include a retractable roof for climate control and shelter for fans during the hot summer months. Seating capacity is approximately 40,000.
Miss the Q&A session? Fans can visit the Hilti Observation Deck during any Rangers Home Game. The Hilti Observation Deck is located on the upper right field concourse, behind section 341. Stay tuned for future Q&A dates.