ARLINGTON - Days away from its official debut, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is ready for the heat.

Cool and comfort were top of mind for the team's $12 million in upgrades to the center field plaza.

There are new sun shades, porch coverings and 23,000 square feet of air conditioned space. There is also new kids' zone with indoor slides, rock climbing walls and interactive games.

For the adults, there is the exclusive Batter's Eye Club. It will host groups of 60 to 100 with an unmatched view from center field, all you can eat buffets and a cash bar. When it is not reserved, ticket holders can buy a pass for the club.

Captain Morgan's Club is open to all ticket holders. The upscale restaurant features an original menu of salads, burgers, fish and chicken items. There's also a $26 hot dog that feeds four people.

The Texas Rangers spent more than $1 million to raise the railings to the highest level in Major League Baseball. The rails are now 42-inches tall.

What we wanted to do was get the top elevation above the average person's center of gravity, said Rangers Vice President Rob Matwick.

Shannon Stone died last year after falling from the left field wall. The Rangers immediately considered safety upgrades. The team still expects fans to be cautious around the railings, but it added the height to meet the highest industry standards.

The Rangers expect fan feedback about sight lines, but addressed that with slimmer rails. Instead of one-and-a-half inch steel tubes, there are 3/4-inch bars and steel cables.


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