ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Tuesday night was Game One of the World Series in Arlington.
It’s the Tampa Bay Rays versus Los Angeles Dodgers in the Texas Rangers’ brand new ballpark, Globe Life Field.
“The Rangers had big visions of creating a new home for themselves,” said Fred Ortiz, who was the lead designer for the $1.2 billion project.
Ortiz and his team with Dallas-based HKS Architects spent years working on Globe Life Field, so to see their creation host the World Series, they say is incredible.
But as a longtime Rangers fan, it’s bittersweet, too.
“It’s unfortunate that COVID has thrown a curve ball,” he said.
Opening Day should have been Globe Life Field’s big debut.
The Rangers finally got to play at their new home after a delayed start to the season, but the only fans allowed in were cardboard cutouts – until the organization hosted the Atlanta Braves and the Dodgers for the National League Championship Series.
“That’s when I was so excited because I actually got to see real people move through the venue,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz studied architecture at UT Arlington and went to his first Major League Baseball game at the old Turnpike Stadium, the Rangers’ first home.
To help create the next-generation ballpark for the team was a dream come true.
“Something that was unique, that did reference the old ballpark, that had sort of that classic feel – but a spin,” he said.
Ortiz couldn’t have predicted Globe Life Field would host the World Series this year and fans from across the country would get to experience his design.
“I think it’s impressive, from what I’ve seen so far,” said Rich Quintilone, a Dodgers fan visiting from California.
“Oh, it’s a beautiful ballpark,” said Jeremey Follis, a Rays fan who came up from Tampa Bay. “The architecture on the outside is amazing.”
But as big of an honor it is to host the MLB’s championship games, it can’t beat the day Ortiz can finally see the hometown team take the field with 40,000 Rangers fans in the stands.
“I want to see the Rangers play in here and yes, it’s exciting the venue is taking on the Dodgers and the Rays, but I think one day we’ll have a Rangers World Series,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz hopes the fans who do get to see a World Series game in-person this year don’t just go straight to their seats. He encourages them to walk around the new ballpark, and really get a feel for the unique and special features.
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