Opening Day isn’t just about baseball. The scene also centers around celebrating a sense of community by consuming refreshing beverages and delicious food with a group of like-minded fans — whether die hard or fair weather.
Sure, the later start time makes this more of an opening night instead of opening day, but those few extra hours mean more time for tailgating and additional time to drink, eat, play cornhole, horseshoes or washers, spend time with friends and maybe even make some new ones.
For those who are making a day of it, cash parking lots around the stadium open five hours prior to first pitch, at 1:00 p.m. and two hours before the stadium opens to fans.
Spanning across 270 acres, Globe Life Park welcomes visitors from all over with more than 48,000 seats. Inside the stadium, there is plenty to check out in terms of food and drink, like three new food items which could become instant favorites.
The Most Valuable Tamale (MVT) is a giant tamale filled with a Boomstick, the gargantuan $26 hot dog covered with chili, cheese, grilled onions, etc. The Fritos Kimchi Chili Dog, which features a hot dog covered in kimchee chili, cilantro, Texas teriyaki sauce and Fritos, is also new this season.
Or for those craving something sweet, the new Texas Snowballs, balls of brisket dripped in funnel cake batter which are topped with powdered sugar after being deep fried, could be an instant home run.
There are those who will trek to Arlington for the game, and these baseball die-hards will probably want to check out batting practice. The Rangers normally take BP three hours before first pitch with the visiting team taking their swings once the Rangers have finished.
Before first pitch, Texas will raise a flag in center field honoring the Rangers’ 2016 American League West division title.
The Rangers also have various activities planned prior to first pitch. Coach Tony Beasley, who missed much of last season battling rectal cancer but is now cancer-free, will sing the national anthem.
Following the national anthem, Air Force T38s from Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls will perform a fly-by, signaling the start of another season of Ranger baseball.
Food Near Globe Life Park
Of course, some would rather eat before they get to the ballpark, and these folks won’t be disappointed by the wealth of options near Globe Life Park. Local favorites like Mariano’s Hacienda, considered the birthplace of the frozen margarita, and Prince Lebanese Grill, which was featured on the Food Network, are both short drives from the stadium.
If you’re craving some barbecue, visit Eddie Deen’s Crossroad Smokehouse, which is across from AT&T Stadium. Many locals regard Mr. B’s Burger Pub as the best in town while Gino’s East, just north of the stadium off Interstate 30, brings Chicago-style pizza to Arlington.
Photos Courtesy: Arlington CVB