Choctaw Stadium – Arlington, Texas
Home to the Texas Rangers for 25 plus years, Arlington, Texas has a love for baseball and events as big as the Lone Star State. One look at Choctaw Stadium proves it. This former home to the Texas Rangers ball club, since 1994, is a 270-acre multi-purpose complex with over 48,000 open-air seats that has played host to two World Series games and the 1995 All-Star Game.
The architecture of Choctaw Stadium fuses state-of-the-art amenities with a respect for the grand tradition of America’s pastime. In 2020, the original Choctaw Stadium layout was reconfigured to also be utilized as a football and soccer facility. Features of the park include a granite and brick facade, a home run porch in the right field, and an asymmetrical playing field, a common characteristic of early 20th-century ballparks. The playing field is comprised of real grass, a luxuriant Tifway 419 turf. And, of course, the Lone Star features prominently on the exterior and interior of the park, a symbol of Texan pride.
When it comes to eating and drinking, Choctaw Stadium doesn’t mess around. With over 100 fixed and mobile concession stands to choose from, you can sample everything from the traditional hotdog and beer to chicken-fried bacon on a stick, fried S’mores with creme cookies, or the fabled Broomstick—a 2-foot long hotdog with chili, cheese, and jalapeno. If you really want to go all out, sit down with the Holland Hot Tot ‘Chos, a heap of tater tots smothered in peppers, beef, and hollandaise queso.
Choctaw Stadium is also available for public and private events, hosting anything from concerts to banquets.
During the stadium’s existence as a baseball park, it was one of baseball’s most notoriously hitter-friendly parks, due to the high temperatures, relatively short fences, and the design of the stadium which allowed the area’s high winds to swirl and lift balls that wouldn’t normally make it out. In truth, the park would have given up even more home runs if not for the office building in the center and the field being 22 feet (6.7 m) below street level.
With a combination of the park’s design and the many good hitters who played for the Rangers during the team’s tenure in the park, the Rangers recorded fairly high home run totals. In 1996, the Rangers hit 221 home runs. They eclipsed 200 again in 1998 (201), 1999 (230), 2001 (241), 2002 (230), 2003 (239), 2004 (227), and 2005 (260, four short of the all-time record of 264 by the 1997 Seattle Mariners).
Many of the Rangers’ already-skilled hitters took advantage of this, some even racking up multiple 30+ Home run seasons, such as Ian Kinsler, Adrián Beltré, and Josh Hamilton. The longest home run recorded was 505 feet to right field by Rangers RF Nomar Mazara on June 21, 2019.