The Texas Rangers say they're finally ready to break ground on their new $1.1 billion retractable roof ballpark.
Thursday, the architects working on the project unveiled brand new artist renderings, giving fans their most complete look at Globe Life Field to date.
"We're really creating the first next generation ballpark here," said Bryan Trubey, Executive Vice President and Director of Sports & Entertainment for HKS, the architecture firm designing the ballpark.
The new stadium will be built just south of Randol Mill Road, across the street from Globe Life Park.
Trubey says they wanted the ballpark to have a distinctly Texas feel, which is why they incorporated a lot of brick, limestone, arches, and landscaping into the design.
"We started with something that the Rangers know is a part of their brand," said Trubey. "The term backyard has come to mind. And that term actually means family, it means security, it means entertainment, and a larger familial connection across their fanbase."
He says another major goal of their design was to bring a lot of natural light into the ballpark, even when the roof is closed. The roof itself will have clear panels and there will be glass walls on multiple sides of the stadium.
"All this works together to make it feel like even though you're inside, you're actually in an outdoor environment," said Trubey.
He also notes that when the roof is open, it will not be visible to fans seated in the ballpark. Instead, it will push back to the west, essentially providing an overhang for one of the stadium parking lots.
Rangers executives call the designs "truly amazing."
"It opens a world of possibilities to us," said Rob Matwick, Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Texas Rangers. "We want it to be the best Major League Baseball facility that there is."
Matwick believes the climate control and more intimate seating arrangement (Globe Life Field will have a seating capacity of 41,000 -- about 8,000 fewer seats than Globe Life Park) will enhance the fan experience.
As it relates to the team, he says Globe Life Field will provide them with a year-round training facility and a new bargaining chip when trying to attract players.
"It's state-of-the-art, best in the business," said Matwick. "It also becomes attractive to free agents as we're trying to put teams together. So our job design-wise is to make sure it's absolutely the best it can be."
The Rangers will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Globe Life Field on September 28. It's slated to open at the start of the 2020 season.
The City of Arlington will cover $500 million of the total cost. Voters there overwhelmingly approved extending a package of tax increases (sales tax, car rental tax, hotel occupancy tax) that had been used to pay for the construction of AT&T Stadium.
The city's deal with the team keeps the Rangers in Arlington through 2054; their current 30-year lease on Globe Life Park was set to expire in 2024.