ARLINGTON, Texas—A sellout crowd greeted the Texas Rangers Friday afternoon for Opening Day, the 40th anniversary for the ball club.
"I am so excited about Opening Day," said Lori Spearman.
A new season meant new additions to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Many of the fans who came through the home plate entrance stopped and snapped photos of the new statue of father Shannon and son Cooper Stone. Shannon Stone died last year after falling 20 feet from the left field bleachers.
"I think it is a very nice gesture. They didn't have to do it, and it just reminds us, kind of, that baseball is a family sport and a tradition here," said Alicia Barton, as she took a photo of the statue.
Inside the ballpark, new, higher railings were put in place.
"I just told him a second ago, 'Hey, they put this railing here,' I was telling him about last year, he saw it on the news, he gets excited, things happen, but you got to stay down and that's why," said Roberts as he stood next to his son.
Just to get into the stadium wasn't cheap. The Dallas Morning News reported ticket prices averaged $270, the most for any home opener in Major League Baseball.
"Oh, we paid a pretty penny for our seats and we're OK with that," said Spearman, who paid $500 for two tickets.
Also new this year was the area behind center field, complete with seating, a large TV screen and plenty of concessions.
"It's a nice little elegant touch to the ballpark. A nice new feel, a nice little overhang in a hot environment, it's a good place for people to hang out and just have a good time," said Dean Diersing.
If the main attraction was the action on the field, the side show was the 'Boomstick,' a two foot long, one pound hot dog covered in cheese, chili and grilled onions.
"It is actually pretty heavy and I didn't know if I would like all of it together, so I just kind of half and halfed it," said Ashley Brusueles, who shared the 'Boomstick' with her friend.