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Volume 24 No. 176
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MLB Rangers Change Course, Now Considering Artificial Turf For New Ballpark

The MLB Rangers said that they are "considering artificial turf" for their new $1.1B Globe Life Field, even though they initially wanted a retractable-roof ballpark in which "natural grass can be grown," according to Jeff Wilson of the Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM. Rangers Exec VP/Business Operations Rob Matwick said, "We’re building a building that certainly can be used 365 days a year, which Globe Life Park cannot. Part of that is the way teams do business these days, so we have to look at it that way." He added, "The thing to consider is baseball is always first and foremost. ... When we started the design process on the ballpark, the first thing we did was look at how could we design a retractable roof building to grow grass, and we haven’t deviated from that." Wilson noted the concern that arose in September at the reveal of the most recent renderings is that the playing surface "will be well below grade and perhaps too low for grass to grow well enough to survive a baseball season." The Rangers have time to make a decision, with the grass "potentially not going in" until four months before Opening Day '20. Matwick said that the Rangers are "looking into turf because of the business impact and because artificial surfaces have become more player-friendly." But some "might be exaggerating the business aspect and potential on-field events the Rangers would hold at Globe Life Field." Matwick said that the Rangers "held more than 200 non-game day events" in '17, but "only 10 were on the field" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/9).