The Texas Rangers will break ground on their $1.1 billion, 41,000-seat baseball stadium in Arlington, TX, this week, according to the Star-Telegram.
The HKS-designed Globe Life Field will feature a retractable roof to create the feel of an outdoor venue while allowing the interior to be air conditioned, and it will seat 9,000 fewer people than does the team's current home for a more intimate fan experience.
The city of Arlington is contributing a voter-approved amount of $500 million for the new ballpark, financed by a variety taxes, and the team will pick up the tab for the rest. The new ballpark is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
Baseball won't be the only thing happening at the new park, however. Construction on the park's adjacent Texas Live! entertainment venue is already underway and the first phase could be ready in time for the 2019 MLB season. Texas Live! will feature 35,000 square feet of convention space, a 300-room hotel and 200,000 square feet of entertainment and retail offerings. Texas Live! patrons will also be able to get a glimpse of the Rangers when the new stadium opens.
The Rangers aren't alone in adding entertainment-based and other features to their stadiums, and that work is not limited to new construction. Older sports venues, too, are joining their neighborhoods in an effort to appeal to a new fan base. Chicago's Wrigley Field, for one, limits what it can offer in terms of entertainment, but nearby establishments are being repurposed to draw in fans before and after the game.
Inside $1 billion–plus stadiums like the new Minnesota Vikings' $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium complex, fans can expect 1,300 Wi-Fi hotspots and a distributed antenna system that enables them to stay in touch with friends and whomever else they wish to share the game with.
Since the stadium opened last year, fans have also been able to enjoy a 17,500-square-foot gathering space featuring group cabins and two separate bars to add another dimension to the stadium's entertainment options.