Apologies in advance about bringing up this point again, but the Texas Rangers really should have built their ballpark downtown. (Maybe even if that downtown were Fort Worth’s.) The home of our local Major League Baseball franchise is an oddity, in that of the 21 new MLB ballparks that have opened since 1992, it’s the only one distantly located from the dense urban environs of its region’s major city.
Rangers Ballpark isn’t going anywhere. The team has invested millions in the place the past couple off-seasons. So we’re going to have to continue to enjoy only a mediocre stadium experience to accompany the great baseball being played on the field.
Jonah Keri of Grantland has started a ranking of the 35 MLB ballparks he’s visited in his life (including several now-closed stadiums). He’s started at the bottom of the list, and the Rangers are there, at No. 23. The ranking isn’t so bad, actually (ahead of new Yankee Stadium, the Angels, and the Braves, at least). But Keri’s words must sting a little, because they certainly ring true.
23. Rangers Ballpark, Arlington: You can make a strong case for Rangers Ballpark as the most ordinary of all the next-generation stadiums built during the ’90s and early aughts. The architecture’s nice enough, with plenty of red brick on the outside, with bunting adorning the big structure out behind center field. Also, how many other ballparks advertise a hot dog that has a 42 percent chance of killing you by the sixth inning? Mostly, this is a me-too edifice with nothing around it except hotels and a Six Flags that offers the bonus of stultifying weather for 85 percent of the season.