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Baseball, hot dogs and more: Globe Life Park in Arlington goes greener, a little leaner

The Texas Rangers and Sportservice, held a media event on Thursday, March 31, to showcase some major improvements to the ballpark and to show off their new line of food options.

They also took the opportunity to reveal the large assortment of food options that will be available this season as well as the new merchandise items for the Rangers 2016 season. The team’s 2016 home opener versus the Seattle Mariners is set for Monday, April 4.

The event took place in the Cholula Porch (new last season), which is located at the top of the right field home run porch and services the “all-you-can-eat” seats. This is just one of the approximately $60 million worth of improvements and upgrades which have been made to Globe Life Park in Arlington over the past six years.

The Rangers officially unveiled the new left field video board, which is located on the roof of the office building. “Our most noticeable improvement is the installation of our Daktronics video board,” said Rob Matwick, executive vice president of business operations for the Texas Rangers. “Fans will now have full view of instant replays.”

Matwick went on to describe the new LED lighting installed for this season and its greening effect on stadium operations. “The new Eaton Ephesus LED lighting, has yielded a 50 percent increase in illumination and a 40 percent reduction in energy usage.” The new lighting will enhance fans experience while providing advanced energy efficiency. “I think all major league parks will be moving to LED lighting in the next few years,” he said.

One other upgrade mentioned was the conversion of an unused helipad into a much needed parking lot. The upgrade added 105 close proximity parking spaces this year.

They showcased new merchandise offerings as well including: co-branded items in conjunction with Marvel Comics and Star Wars; a new authentic flex-fit jersey by Majestic; and logo collections of both Dooney & Bourke and Coach bags and accessories.

Delaware North via Metroplex Sportservice is the concessionaire at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Along with the usual high calorie indulgences, you will also find some health-conscious and even vegan options at the park this year.

First, to the big reveal of this year’s food-challenge…Chef Cris Vazquez dreamed up the Wicked Pig for your dining pleasure. This mammoth mouth-full (who are we kidding…this one can only be attacked with a fork and knife, or by a pack of wolves), features a Hawaiian roll with triple layers of pulled pork, thick cut Danish bacon, a slightly spicy split sausage, prosciutto as well as thick sliced ham, covered in barbecue sauce and topped with coleslaw and pork rinds. There is also a crazy four-patty hamburger, sure to keep your lipid levels up, in the event of extra innings.

Other ballpark fare includes The Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Dog, slathered in a nearly fluorescent Flamin’ Hot Cheetos “infused” nacho cheese sauce and sprinkled liberally with crunchy Cheetos (be careful not to light a match near this hot dog, as rumor has it…Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are flammable).

A Chicken and Donut Skewer is presented on a 12 inch bamboo skewer alternating hefty fried chicken nuggets and freshly fried donut holes. The Skewer is topped with powdered sugar and a spicy buffalo honey sauce. Or try the Cotton Candy Dog which proved so popular last year it was called up again. If you can get past the green mustard (green because the mustard is “infused” with cotton candy) and dollops of pink and blue cotton candy topping the all-beef hot dog…it is actually not that bad, a sweet and salty treat that kids will love.

If you are not one to throw caution to the wind, head to the third base side and look for a cart loaded with new vegan options that contain no animal bi-products. The menu consists of a southwest black bean burger, vegan nachos, hot dogs, jerky, or spinach wraps. There is also a nice salad on hand, fresh cut fruits and Terra veggie chips.

The suites will be laden with treats this year. My favorite amenity was the Gulf coast raw bar with an assortment of crab claws, smoked bay scallops and salmon, served with a full array of classic condiments. A Mediterranean wedge salad is topped with thinly sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, fried bits of pancetta and feta cheese crumbles alongside a Greek vinaigrette. They also have a “suite” dessert – Rocky Road bread pudding with toasted sweet bread and custard topped with pecans, marshmallows and a whiskey cream sauce.

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