The Texas Rangers won the battle for baseball supremacy in the Lone Star State by dispatching the defending champion Houston Astros earlier this week, winning the American League Pennant in dramatic fashion. Now they play host for games 1 and 2 of the 2023 World Series in Globe Life Field, the stadium’s highest-profile sporting event since opening in 2020.
Their opponent, the Arizona Diamondbacks, extended their improbably playoff journey beating the Philadelphia Phillies on the road. They also play in a stadium with a retractable roof, Chase Field, which opened during the franchises’ inaugural season in 1998.
While we can’t speak to the outcome of any games or the series in what’s already been a wild baseball postseason, RC can comfortably predict all the games should happen as scheduled – rain or shine – thanks to their unique roofs. Here’s more about two of the most interesting rooftops in professional baseball.
While Texas is no stranger to the World Series, it’s been over a decade since the Dallas Metroplex hosted the Fall Classic in back-to-back seasons in 2010 and 2011. The club has yet to win a championship, and if it does this year it will be a first for Globe Life Field. Both of those previous World Series appearances were when the Rangers played at The Ballpark in Arlington, which is located just south of the current stadium in a converted ballpark/office space called Choctaw Stadium.
While all eyes will be on the field, Globe Life Field’s single-panel retractable roof is a scene stealer. It spans more than five acres, making it one of the largest in the world, and in addition to climate control is designed to allow a lot of natural light to fill the arena.
Officials with KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, RC's 2017 Commercial Roofing Contractor of the Year, said the complex scope of work included roughly 450,000 square feet of Carlisle’s single-ply KEE PVC roofing membrane separated into 21 different roof sections that contained both flat and heavily pitched areas. Their work earned a national Excellence in Construction® Pyramid Award.
If Globe Life Field’s surroundings look familiar, it’s because they are. Just a fastball or two away from the baseball diamond lies another architectural marvel, AT&T Stadium. The home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys opened in 2009 on an adjacent property and has hosted a Super Bowl (2011) and several major college football games over the years.
Oh, and KPost crews were very familiar with that award-winning project, having worked on that roof, which also has a retractable section, albeit a little smaller than its neighbor’s.
The retractable roof takes anywhere from 11-15 minutes to open. While parts of the country may be feeling extended periods of moderate weather for fall, fans should expect to see a closed stadium during this series. The Rangers have specific guidelines for closing the roof during the regular season – if the game-time temperature was expected to drop below 65 degrees or rise above 80 degrees. Also, if humidity is expected to rise above 50 percent, the roof is generally closed.
Chase Field was the first stadium in the United States with a retractable roof over a grass playing surface when it opened. Both sides of the roof can operate either in unison or independently to maximize sunlight on the turf.
If the game begins with the roof open, Major League Baseball rules dictate the roof can only be closed for weather concerns. If the game begins with the roof closed, it can be reopened once if the home team determines the climate can enhance the fan experience.
The retractable roof at Globe Life Field was last opened for a game this season on May 21. In all, the Rangers started 11 games under the open skies, finishing with a respectable 7-4 record.
Record for the Diamondbacks under a closed roof weren’t immediately available, but for the past two seasons, the team has been unable to open or close the roof with fans in the building due to safety concerns. The Chase Field roof was open just once this postseason.