Globe Life Field was a baseball stadium designed with football in mind, according to the Texas Rangers.
Air Force and Army will be the first to put that goal to the test.
Sean Decker, vice president of sports and entertainment for the Arlington, Texas-based Rangers, said lighting in the enclosed $1.1 billion stadium that opened this past summer is sport-specific, with settings designed for football games and broadcast in mind. Also, certain suites were wired for assistant coach headsets, and there will be ample locker-room space, he said.
The home team — Air Force in 2021, Army in 2022 — will be based on the west side (the third-base line) and utilize the visitor’s clubhouse. Batting cages in the tunnel will retract, creating more space for lockers.
The visitors on the other side will utilize an auxiliary clubhouse with room for 100 football players to dress and meet.
A football-specific surface will be laid down over the playing field, for what Decker called the best possible surface for the sport.
“The chance to play consecutive years in the great state of Texas was too much for us to ignore, especially in this state-of-the-art ballpark,” Air Force athletic director Nathan Pine said.
A rendering of the stadium shows an end zone butting up to a wall. But the Rangers said the drawing was not to scale and that there will be a 15-foot runoff zone, and that the field meets all safety requirements for the NCAA and NFL. Part of the left field wall and the bullpen will be removed to create room for the field.
The venue has already hosted a World Series, National Finals Rodeo, the world’s largest Christmas light display and 60 high school graduations.
Pine said he was impressed with the execution of events at the new stadium, particularly given the challenges presented by COVID-19. He said the hope is the virus will be "in the rear-view mirror" by November and the stadium will be at full 37,000 capacity for Air Force and Army.