ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s another major remodeling project is going on at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Crews are tearing down walls and steel beams to open up space on the old Cuervo Club. Naming rights for the establishment behind home plate have been sold. On April 5, opening day, the private club will be called the Capital One Club.
The Rangers are also adding a third row of home plate seats — in front of the two exiting premium-seating rows. That means last seasons front row seats are now row two seats.
“Our sales group is talking to the customers who have the current Row A seats,” explained Rangers Executive Vice President for Ballpark Operations Rob Matwick. “I believe they’re being given the opportunity to move forward if they choose to do so.”
While Matwick says they are adding 52 new seats, he says the basic location for ticket buyers isn’t changing. “The view from their existing seat is the same and their view hasn’t changed. It’s the same distance to home plate. The game’s played 50 feet away at home plate.”
Executive Vice-President of Communications, John Blake, was excited to talk about how construction will also include widening a tunnel above home plate, allowing a direct view of the field from the home plate concourse. Some folks say the move might literally be considered too much “inside baseball.”
When asked if the new opening would create new wind issues for pitchers or hitters Blake said, “When this ballpark was originally built (1994) that was all open space up there [around the concourse level], the then-Gold club was built in 2000, it did have some effect on the wind current coming in from both sides. I think it could have nothing but a positive effect to opening it up a little bit behind the plate and allowing the wind to come in.”
In all, some 32,000 square feet of the Ballpark will be renovated or upgraded. The Rangers are also building several new concession locations and will open a new 2,000 square foot retail store.
“Every club is always looking for ways to generate more revenue and certainly there’s no more premium space in the area, behind home plate,” Matwick said.
This is the third year the Rangers have done some type of renovations at the Ballpark and officials with the club say there are more scheduled in 2013 and 2014.
Things will be a little more comfortable for the actual baseball teams as well. The Rangers are making the dugouts and camera bays deeper and wider. The renovations mean foul territory will be decreased to 42 feet, six inches in some places, but most agree the space is needed.
“This will give us a little more breathing room down there,” Matwick said. “You get the expanded rosters let’s say in September where you’ve got a bunch of guys that are called up, or if you have five guys that are on the DL, plus your team, plus the coaching staff, trainers, equipment guys… it gets a little tight down there.”
The $12 million project is expected to be complete by opening day of 2013.
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