Friday September 19th, 2014

Ballplayers aren't the only folks who can call Globe Life Park in Arlington their office. Of course, it helps that the 20-year-old stadium has an office building built right into centerfield.

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"That was really the first time anybody contemplated doing an office building in a ballpark," Bryan Trubey, HKS architect, said. "A 125,000-square-foot office building seemed like a pretty risky thing." And with Arlington not exactly a hub of commerce in the early 1990s, Trubey said placing the four-story complex that tied businesses and fans straight into the ballpark "created a cool environment there."

With nearly 50,000 seats already surrounding the playing surface for the Rangers, Trubey said there wasn't a need for more seats in the outfield, opening up the possibility for the office building, which encloses the stadium from left-centerfield to right-center.

"The ownership group — George W. Bush was part of the ownership at that time — had a very entrepreneurial way of looking at this development," Trubey said. "The stadium was very economically built and was still a money-maker for the team."

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The design emphasis included having retail opportunities and a team store on the ground floor of the white building. The original entry to the building's TGI Friday's restaurant was on top of the home run porch, and the local television station had a studio on the ground floor. The second and third floors are commercially leased, with the Rangers occupying the fourth floor. The roof has eight billboards around the centerfield scoreboard and overlooks the park-like setting of centerfield. The side of the building facing the playing field consists of floor-to-ceiling glass.

"A lot of tenants will lease space on both sides of the corridor, with one side facing the ballpark," Trubey said. "The ballpark-facing side of the office buildings has porches and balconies continuously along at every level. It really helped us create a focus, an intimate feeling on the inside of the building. And it helped to enclose (the ballpark)."

It also gave some Arlington businesses an office space unlike anywhere else.

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

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