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October 30, 2012

Will Rangers Ballpark upgrades affect jet stream?

Among the $12 million in renovations being done to Rangers Ballpark this off-season is a redesign of the main concourse and the former Cuervo Club that could have an effect on the jet stream to right field that allegedly adds home runs on windy nights.

Upon entering the stadium through the home-plate gates, fans will be able to see the playing field as the concession stands below the now-Capital One Club and the club entrance will essentially be cleared out. The entrance will move toward third base, near the suite elevators, and the concession stands will be open on both sides to create more air flow and a view of the field.

The Rangers have not conducted any studies on the effects on batted balls to right field and right-center field with the Ballpark now closer to its original configuration behind home plate. Rangers Ballpark has always been a hitter's park, with wind from the south hitting the seating bowl, swirling back out and carrying flyballs with it. But since the club area was added in 2000, the effect has been more pronouced.

"We haven't gone back and done a wind study on this, but we do feel like this will help with air circulation," said Rob Matwick, the executive vice president for ballpark and event operations. "Whether or not that impacts play, I don't know. But, then again, I don't know if it's impacted play. We'll wait and see how it plays."

-- Jeff Wilson

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