For all its new-age wonder, the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium features an odd, sometimes problematic quirk. When the sun starts to dip in the late afternoon, it shines through the large glass panes in the west endzone, right into the eyes of the team driving in that direction.
Next door, the Rangers' answer to providing natural light at an indoor stadium seems slightly more sophisticated.
The new Globe Life Field, set to open in 2020, will come with a 240,000 square foot retractable roof – about of half of which will be covered with panels of Ethylene Tetraflouroethylene, or ETFE, a lightweight, translucent material often used for greenhouses.
The Rangers showed off the design this week, revealing a 3-D model of the new stadium.
The ETFE panels should ease the apprehensions of Rangers fans, some of whom, despite the scorching summer temperatures, aren't fully on board with the club playing America's Pastime indoors. The ETFE will make the new ballpark "as light and airy in the design as possible," said John Hutchings, principal of HKS, the firm that designed that stadium.
But the roof at Globe Life Field wil be the first of its kind in baseball.
Retractable-roof ballparks such as Safeco Field in Seattle and Minute Maid Park in Houston, for example, have traditional roofs, with the natural light coming through the sides of the ballpark.
In fact, Globe Life Field renderings have drawn comparisons to Minute Maid, with large windows in the outfield. But you can see the difference in the Rangers' proposed roof in the photos below, where a large middle section of the roof will feature the ETFE panels for more natural light.