ARLINGTON, Texas — With the Oakland Athletics’ Las Vegas relocation approved, fans must be wondering what the new ballpark will look like.
The design is still in the works, but an example of what to expect sits adjacent to the site where MLB owners approved the team’s move to Southern Nevada — at Live! Lowes hotel.
Globe Life Field, home of the World Series champion Texas Rangers and located behind Lowes, has been toured multiple times by A’s president Dave Kaval as the team’s relocation efforts have played out since May 2021.
The $1.2 billion, 4-year-old, 40,500-seat capacity ballpark — which sits on 13 acres with a fully retractable roof — features many elements the A’s are looking for in a Las Vegas ballpark.
Kaval talked about the Rangers’ ballpark last week and said the luxury spaces, openness of the building and the layout of the seating were attractive elements he would like to see incorporated into a Las Vegas ballpark. He added that there isn’t a bad seat in the place.
The A’s have yet to release updated renderings or the architect for the project, but they have 9 acres to construct a $1.5 billion, 33,000-seat stadium. They want some form of retractable roof and/or walls, similar to Allegiant Stadium’s lanai doors.
Seating variety key
Similarly to Allegiant Stadium, having suite and club spaces will be a must for the clientele that will attend games on the Strip.
Globe Life features about 70 suites, with 13 located dugout to dugout behind home plate, field level. Those are flanked by dugout clubs behind first and third base. The ballpark features about a dozen club areas, giving plenty of options for fans who want an increased experience at the ballpark.
“Obviously, premium is a huge part here,” said John Blake, senior vice president of public affairs for the Rangers. “We are the only park that has that many field suites. You’re literally feet from the on-deck circle.”
Having a variety of seating spaces also makes the ballpark an attractive space to host concerts, one-off sporting events, private events and tours, Blake said.
The stadium has its own team that books events outside of MLB games, called Rev Events. That team stays busy, with Blake estimating the ballpark being in use about 250 days a year.
The concourse is wide open, allowing fans to not miss a beat while grabbing their favorite refreshment or getting food from the various restaurants.
The stadium has 11 broadcast booths, which came in handy during the Rangers’ World Series title run this season. The ballpark also features 26 elevators, up from four from the team’s previous stadium, Blake said.
The team is also an important aspect to a stadium’s design, with Globe Life Field featuring a 50,000-square-foot clubhouse. The space features a theater-like meeting space with tiered seating, locker rooms with vented drawers to decrease the amount of smell coming from equipment, a barber shop, cafeteria, team offices, a multilevel weight room and rehabilitation space with hot and cold tubs.
Blake, who has worked in Major League Baseball for 45 years, is an old-school baseball guy at heart, so he wasn’t sure he’d enjoy watching a game from an enclosed stadium. But now, he appreciates and even prefers the versatility of it.
“It took awhile of playing indoors to get used to it,” Blake said. “But with the weather here, I’m sure it’s similar in Vegas, you can’t play outside in the summer. And it’s not just the heat, it’s the rain. Texas gets a lot of bad thunderstorms, especially in April and May. We know if we have a game scheduled at 7 that we’re going to play. It was a game-changer for us.
“People stayed longer, even when we were bad in ’21 and ’22 and losing 102 and 98 games. You don’t see empty seats like the old place. For a fan, the amenities and the fan-friendliness is far superior.”