Throughout its 28
years of existence Arlington Stadium was known by players and fans
as one of the hottest place to play or watch a baseball game. Plans for a new stadium to serve the Dallas-Fort
Worth metropolitan area began in 1959. Owners of the local franchise hoped to
attract a Continental League team. In Fall 1959 voters approved
a bond to build a new stadium. It was constructed on a 137 acre
tract of land near the Six Flags amusement park. Final touches to
the ballpark were not completed until opening day. Originally named
Turnpike Stadium, it was home of the Double A Texas Spurs as they
played the first game at the stadium on April 23, 1965. The stadium
had 10,600 seats, and the playing field was 40 feet below the
parking area enabling it to be enlarged to have a seating capacity
of 50,000. One tier of stands stretched from the first base dugout
to the third base dugout. A grassy knoll was on both sides of the stands. The first of many expansions
occurred in 1970
when the capacity was increased to 20,000. Grandstands were added
down both the first and third base sides.
In the mid 1960s Mayor of Arlington, Tom
Vandergriff, tried to attract a MLB team to
Arlington. Vandergriff first tried to get the Kansas
City A's to move to Arlington, but then his efforts
turned to the Washington Senators who were
struggling both financially and on the field.
Senators owner Bob Short moved the club from
Stadium to Arlington after the 1971 season.
Renamed the Texas Rangers, the club moved to
Turnpike Stadium, renamed Arlington Stadium, playing
their first game here on April 21, 1972. Arlington
Stadium was expanded to seat 35,649 fans as the seating bowl was enclosed
with the extension of the
grandstands into centerfield. A large scoreboard, part
that was in the shape of Texas, was behind the stands in left
field. The last addition to Arlington Stadium occurred in 1978 when the
upper deck was added, bringing the capacity to 41,284. The upper
deck was very small and was located mainly behind home plate.
Arlington Stadium remained the same
until it closed. With the Summer heat and humidity of Texas,
Arlington Stadium was the hottest stadium in baseball as almost all
the Rangers' home games, even Sunday games, were played at night..
In the 1980s the Rangers began looking to build a
new stadium. A site near Arlington Stadium was
chosen and the Rangers new ballpark, the
Ballpark in Arlington was built. The Texas
Rangers played their last game at Arlington Stadium
on October 3, 1993 against the Kansas City Royals.
The following year Arlington Stadium was demolished.