ARLINGTON, Texas - Plans for the first events at the newly-constructed Globe Life Field are moving forward as scheduled, organizers said on Wednesday.
Crews continue prepping for Saturday’s Chris Stapleton concert. Texas Rangers officials say the event is controlled by concert organizer, Live Nation, and they haven’t been told otherwise.
On a day to celebrate the upcoming debut of Globe Life Field, the Rangers fielded questions from reporters about growing COVID-19 coronavirus concerns and possible event cancellations.
“In life, you can only control the things you can control. We’re the baseball team. We’re going to get ready to play baseball,” said Rob Matwick, the executive VP of business operations for the Rangers. “But that said, the health and safety of our players, staff, our guests is paramount. So we also are cognizant of what’s going on around us.”
A new ban on large events in Seattle and other areas of Washington have forced Major League Baseball to move the season opener series between the Rangers and Mariners. The exact location hasn’t yet been determined.
“I think it’s probably a good thing because we don’t know what this is going to do,” said Rangers fan Paul Stewart. “In some places, it’s kind of been blown out of proportion. But also, it’s a serious thing.”
For Saturday’s scheduled concert, ballpark staff will stock more hand sanitizer and post signs reminding fans to keep up with good hygiene practices. Rangers officials are acknowledging fewer crowds at events is a possibility as coronavirus concerns continue.
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“Yeah, absolutely we’re concerned. But at this stage, we’re still continuing to go forward, take precautions. We’ve been discussing in terms of extra sanitizer, extra cleaning information we can share,” Matwick said. “We’ll see what happens in the coming days and weeks, but understanding this is a fluid situation.”
Despite the concerns, avid Rangers fans flooded through the doors to get their first look at the new ballpark, saying coronavirus won’t keep them from enjoying a game.
“I just try to keep myself as healthy as possible,” said fan Jimmy Phillips. “I do what they say to do about washing my hands and being careful. I stay away from people that are really sick. Life goes on.”
For now, the Rangers are set to play their first exhibition games at Globe Life Field on March 23 and 24. Their home opener is on March 31 against the Angels.