Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (1000 Ballpark Wy., 817/273-5100, www.rangers.mlb.com ) is a great place to catch a ballgame—even if you’re not a big baseball fan (the season runs from April through early October). The stadium opened in 1994 and was designed to capture classic aesthetic elements of old-time ballparks while offering modern amenities. It succeeds on both counts.
Unlike many urban stadiums, the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington sits alone atop a hill surrounded by natural features and parking lots. The 10-minute walk to the front gates takes visitors past lakes and a decked-out miniature stadium used for Little League games and other events.
The surrounding greenery is a welcome contrast to the concrete walls and bus exhaust outside baseball stadiums in other metropolitan environments. The exterior of Rangers Ballpark is decorated with relief sculptures depicting Texana scenes such as longhorn cattle, the Alamo, and oil wells.
The most rewarding aspect of the ballpark is the immediate sense of delight experienced upon ascending the walkway into the heart of the stadium—the natural green grass, royal blue sky, and sharp sounds of wooden bats and leather gloves is a baseball fan’s Field of Dreams. An extra bonus is the nook-and-cranny-filled outfield underneath deliberately toned-down flat-board advertising (sans flashing neon lights or garish beer billboards).
Since the Rangers played in the 2010 World Series, the stadium has become a popular destination for regional sports fans, a rarity in this football-obsessed city and state. Baseball buffs are hoping the kinetic energy encapsulated in the stadium during the 2010 postseason will continue to reverberate for years to come.