The Texas Rangers are busy making renovations to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The $11.5 million project will be completed in time for fans to enjoy it for the 2012 season.  The area under renovation is in center-field and includes the bleacher seats and basically everything in Vandergriff Plaza. More after the jump.

The renovations will include a new Batter's Eye Club, Restaurant and Sports Bar, Kids Zone, concession stands, remodeled bleacher seating and even a new visitors bullpen area.  The demolition of Vandergriff Plaza began last week and construction is expected to be complete by opening day - April 6th!

Nolan Ryan, Rangers CEO and President had this to say:

We have a commitment to our fans to provide the finest ballpark experience.The upgrades we are making in the Vandergriff Plaza area will add more food/beverage and entertainment options while also providing ways to cool off in the summer months. This project represents the most extensive renovation in the history of the park and we plan to make further upgrades in the coming years.

Here's a summary of the upgrades:

New Batter's Eye Club:
There will be new indoor seating area built atop of Greene's Hill in center-field to replace the old "batter's eye" structure that has been there since the ballpark was built back in 1994. The Batter's Eye Club will feature four rows with seating for about 100 people that provides a spectacular view of the playing field through two-way glass, which will be totally dark on the field side. The club will be 6,250 square foot and will feature its own buffet, bar, dining area and rest rooms. The Batter's Eye Club will available for both group rentals and as an individual seating area for select

Restaurant and Sports Bar:
Yet another new addition will be a themed restaurant and sports bar. The sports bar will be constructed in the first floor area of the office building behind the left-center field seats. The two-level facility will be approximately 9,152 square feet and will overlook the playing field. The restaurant and bar will be open to the public before, during, and after Rangers games and is expected to be available for rental when the club is on the road and in the off-season. In addition, Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Radio are expected to have studio space in this area. Another place to cool off during those hot July and August home games!

Kid's Zone:
Kid's will have a new play area to look forward to in the first floor area of the office building closest to center-field. A 6,470 square foot Kid's Zone will house a number of interactive games and attractions and will operate in a similar manner to the old Vandergriff Plaza Sports Park. The Kid's Zone will be open during all Rangers home games and also be available for rental at other times. My kids are going to love the new Kid's Zone. It's one of their favorite areas of teh ballpark!

New Vandergriff Plaza:
The area that previously housed the Children's Sports Park will be completely rebuilt and will now include up to four new full-service concession stands and additional seating. A new video board will be mounted on the back of the Batter's Eye Club to provide viewing for fans of the game action from this location. This area will be nearly 12,000 square feet. One feature that will remain from the old Vandergriff Plaza is the life-size bronze statues of Nolan Ryan and the late Tom Vandergriff, for whom the plaza is named. Sounds like an excellent place for parents to be able to hang out and watch the game while the kids are playing!

Seating Area and Decks:
The old bleacher seats on the left and right field sides of Greene's Hill will be replaced by individual seats. The capacity of this new area, which will be called the Outfield Plaza, will be 424, a decrease of 1,075 from the previous bleacher seating. Covered deck areas with open seating and tables will be built above the seating areas on both the left- and right-field sides of the Batter's Eye Club. I hate that the are losing seating in the outfield area, but the fact that they will be real seats is nice.

New Visitors Bullpen:
A cool new look for the visitors bullpen that will now run parallel to the left-center fence in the same orientation as the Rangers bullpen, occupying an area that was previously bleacher seating. For the first time, a majority of the seating bowl will have a view into the visitors bullpen. This is a cool new addition, since the old visitor bullpen was not very visible.

Improved Concourse Area:
The concourse leading from behind Section 3 into Vandergriff Plaza (walkway currently behind the visitors bullpen) will be widened to provide a more efficient traffic flow. This is much needed! Can't wait for the improved traffic flow.

I can't wait to see the new improvements.  I'm glad that Nolan Ryan is putting some money back in to the team and in to the ballpark.  I think all the fans will have an even better game experience!  What about you?  Are you excited about the new improvements to the ballpark?

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