ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – Opening day at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and some new rules at club-controlled parking lots were going to crack down on drivers–especially tailgaters—that didn’t have game tickets.  Still, for many, tailgating remained an opening day tradition.

Ben Garcia of Bedford was concerned.   He didn’t have a ticket, but had been tailgating on opening day for years.   He told CBS 11 News,  “They’re going to start kicking people out, people who don’t have tickets going into the game.”

Garcia was grilling with one eye looking over his shoulder.  He wasn’t denied a parking spot initially, as he feared.  And a second deadline—after the end of the second inning, when he was supposed to produce a ticket or leave—came and went.  Ben says he’s a die-hard fan, but the price of a ticket is what he spends to grill for his friends.

“A little rough. A lot of guys who came out last year–most of us here—It’s kind of tough getting tickets and coming in.”

At lots NOT run by the Rangers—like the Convention Center—the old rules still ruled.   “I haven’t seen them in effect, so I’m okay with it,”  Angela Biocca told us.   Fellow tailgater Katie Coniglio agreed.  “No, everything was fine; seemed the same as last year. ”

Opening day traditions were on full display.  Cooking.  Eating.  Some twists: a retired fire truck provided private catering from Hook & Ladder Draughthouse.   The 1987 Sutphen with a custom-made Italian oven sported hot pizza and cold beer side-by-side.

Adults played children’s games, like bean bag toss, while toddlers took a swing at adult ones, like baseball.  Cash Robinson is three years old and was taking healthy cuts at balls him mom threw.   His sister Delaney, just one, had a bright yellow fielders glove that had the kind of stickum usually reserved for pro football wide receivers.   Mom Jessica Robinson loves opening day.   “Bringing the kids out here right now and just letting them play baseball and having fun.”

Nearby, Collette Laizure was among the youngest fans; at just five months old, she was taken to the first of what promises to be many opening day events.  Her mother, Jacquie Laizure, implies the two had a heart-to-heart talk about how to greet ex-Ranger Josh Hamilton when he steps to the plate in the other guys’ uniform.

“I think it’s going to be a game time decision,” she told us.  “But probably we’ll boo….It’ll be her first words!”

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