When MLB begins its belated 2020 season next month, the Texas Rangers will debut Globe Life Field (not to be confused with nearby Globe Life Park) in downtown Arlington. One of the most expensive baseball venues ever constructed (taxpayers forked over a whopping $1.1 billion for the Rangers’ new digs), the retractable-roof stadium seats over 40,000 fans, though none will be permitted in 2020 amid the coronavirus. Judging by the responses on Twitter, people aren’t exactly enamored with the park’s appearance, comparing the stadium unfavorably to large wholesale stores like Costco and Home Depot.
If inner beauty counts for anything, the facilities within Globe Life Field appear to be top-notch with immaculate clubhouses and state-of-the-art workout equipment. However, reception of the stadium’s architecture has been much more mixed. Criticism of Globe Life Field has largely centered around the park’s metallic features and off-putting warehouse aesthetic.
Among a stubborn follower base that tends to resist change, it can take a while for baseball fans to warm up to new stadiums. People weren’t crazy about Marlins Park (removing the garish outfield center-piece may be the only thing Derek Jeter has done right in his tenure as CEO) when it first opened while countless others have endured similar criticism. Remember the ill-conceived “Tal’s Hill” (or, as I liked to call it, a lawsuit waiting to happen) gimmick at Minute Maid Park in Houston? And no amount of window dressing will ever make the cavernous Tropicana Field any less haunting. Still, it’s rare for a stadium, particularly one as costly as the newly-minted Globe Life Field, to weather this much vitriol before anyone has even stepped foot in it.
You be the judge—is Globe Life Field an eyesore or ahead of its time? Not to pile on, but I’m leaning eyesore.