So, it is day two. Let me start by saying that I had absolutely no idea what to expect from our first official day of tours. The anticipation was all over everyone’s faces, and it was pretty much understood amongst us all as to why. Starting the morning with a nice, cold Ice Mocha from McDonald’s most definitely set the mood for my morning. On the way to Globe Life Park at Arlington, also known as the Texas Ranger’s Stadium, the atmosphere on the bus was full of excitement. Being that it was out first “real” day, we knew that everything we had been preparing for was just getting started.
We arrived at the park early, but I guess is actually ended up being perfect timing so we could all get our “selfies” out of the way before the tour started. Braydon, one of the interns with the Rangers, came and got us and led us into the stadium…and it all became real. From that point, our attention as a whole shifted from excitement of being in such a large city to young professional ready to make a name for ourselves.
We were taken into the Hyundai Club, which overlooked the entire field, and it was perfect! To start the morning, Terry Turner, VP for Human Resources for the Rangers, kicked things off with stories of accidents that had occurred in the stadium over the years. His knowledge of the facility, added together with a healthy dose of humor, made the perfect start. The next individual to address us was Kate Kassidy, legal council for the team. She explained to us her role in the organization being primarily one of contract council, specifically dealing with construction contracts, penalties, sponsorships, and employment. She was very informative in ways that provided insight to starting our careers in sport.
Our final guide was Sean Decker. I don’t feel that saying he was amazing really encompasses the job that he did in engaging and informing us on the ins and outs of the ballpark. Sean is the Vice President of Ballpark Operations, so there wasn’t much about Globe Life Park that he couldn’t tell us. Throughout our tour, we were taken across the entire field. Standing in the middle of a field of that magnitude (200 acres) was astounding! We were even able to go on the infield, into the home dugout, the tunnel that runs under the entire ballpark, luxury suites, and a couple of the clubs. We were treated to a delicious lunch in the newly renovated Captain Morgan Club. There is really no way to describe how incredible the facility overall truly is! Being in love with sport marketing and promotions, my favorite part of the entire facility was the 62×120 video board that sits in right field. Standing on the field looking up, I was in awe. The experiences that we were able to be a part of set the bar high for the remainder of our trip, and gave us all a glimpse into to what is to come from here forward.
Needless to say, the ride back to the hotel was filled with even more chatter, but all was focused on the Texas rangers. It’s admirable, as a young professional, to be able to observe others and watch the light in them catch on fire when interacting with those of us seeking ways in which to enter their field, as well as feeling a sense of family as they relay their own experiences moving up through the ranks.
We had some time to relax when we got back to the hotel before heading to dinner, which I am not sure anyone was ready for! Having a bus driver was awesome as ours makes it easier to interact with him to get the “hookup” on great local places to eat. Chris, our driver, assured us that we had to try the chicken at Babe’s. Crazy name for a restaurant, right? Let me tell you…AMAZING food! Their set up was very Texan, and you could choose from fried chicken, smoked chicken, chicken fingers or fried catfish. The sides were unlimited and included mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, corn and butter milk biscuits. Now when I tell you that I have NEVER seen a pile of chicken as big as the one placed in the center of our table, I really mean it! We were all speechless, and our first reaction was to take pictures of it. The food was absolutely “to die for!”
To sum day two all up, our first day of tours could not have gone better. From outstanding professionals that welcomed us with open arms to some good southern fried chicken, I’m finding I am more than ready for the tours (AND food!) that are to come. I found myself saying many times today that “I’m so lucky…and it is only the beginning of this experience!
–Rachel McDivitt, Student in the Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration General (On Campus) program.