Arlington Stadium

From BR Bullpen

(Redirected from Turnpike Stadium)

Home of Texas Rangers, 1972 to 1993

(Also known as Turnpike Stadium, 1965 to 1971)

BUILT: 1965

CAPACITY: 10,500 (1965); 20,000 (1970); 35,739 (1972); 41,097 (1979); 43,508 (1985); 43,521 (1993)

FIRST MLB GAME: April 21, 1972, vs. California Angels (Rangers 7, Angels 6)

LAST MLB GAME: October 3, 1993, vs. Kansas City Royals (Royals 4, Rangers 1)

LARGEST CROWD: 43,705 - July 23, 1983, vs. Toronto Blue Jays

HIGH SEASON ATTENDANCE: 2,297,720 (1991)


OTHER TENNANTS: Dallas-Ft. Worth Spurs, Texas League (1965-1971)

Arlington Stadium was the home of the Texas League Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs beginning in 1965. The Texas League had long supported both Dallas and Ft. Worth entries, but the coalescence of the D/FW area into a "Metroplex" united by a central turnpike and plans for an international airport to the north made the idea of a single "D/FW" baseball franchise plausible. Turnpike Stadium, as it was originally called, situated in a natural hollow in the floodplains of the northern part of the mid-cities town of Arlington, right on its eponymous highway, was the venue. Six Flags Over Texas, a pioneering theme park, was next door, as things go in Texas, and provided a parlay for visitors looking to pack in extra amusements.

It was also a logical selling point for the city of Arlington in its efforts to attract the major-league Washington Senators, who became the Texas Rangers in 1972. The stadium grew fourfold in capacity over its lifespan to accommodate major-league crowds. The result was a park that looked like a hybrid or even a mistake, with a cozy grandstand behind home plate and an immense ring of steel seats in the outfield that one writer called "the world's largest open-air roaster."

There was never much charm associated with Arlington Stadium, but it had natural grass and prairie breezes and there was nothing exclusive about it. The bullpens were on the playing field in the expansive foul territory along the lines, adding to the homey feel of the place. According to [1], the stadium was the birthplace of ballpark nachos.

At the beginning of the 1994 season, the Rangers moved to the Ballpark in Arlington, now called Ameriquest Field, and played their home games there until 2020. The old stadium was demolished in 1994.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Alan Cohen: "Players who homered at Arlington Stadium as both minor and major league players", in Steve West and Bill Nowlin, eds.: The Team That Couldn't Hit: The 1972 Texas Rangers, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2019, pp. 275-277. ISBN 978-1-943816-93-4
  • Will Osgood: "Arlington Stadium", in Steve West and Bill Nowlin, eds.: The Team That Couldn't Hit: The 1972 Texas Rangers, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2019, pp. 270-274. ISBN 978-1-943816-93-4

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