Texas Rangers roof Opening Day: Is it open or closed? Why?

By now, Rangers fans have come to expect the Globe Life Field roof to be closed, regardless of rain or shine.

arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers were kicking off the 2024 season with an Opening Day matchup against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night.

In a totally climate-controlled environment.

By now, Rangers fans have come to expect the Globe Life Field roof to be closed, regardless of rain or shine, and that was again the case Thursday evening. The roof is typically open or closed on both teams' agreement, though Major League Baseball officials have made the decision in the playoffs.

But there was also (likely) a reason behind the retractable roof staying put Thursday night.

The temperatures were perfect in the 70s for much of the afternoon in Arlington, and the skies were sunny. But it's a narrow window of conditions for the Rangers to play in open-air conditions.

Lows on Thursday night were expected to dip into the 60s, which isn't exactly a frozen tundra. Still, the Rangers, in their three previous seasons at Globe Life Field have generally followed a set of weather guidelines for keeping the roof closed: If temperatures are warmer than 80 degrees or lower than 65 degrees, the roof stays in place, as Sports Illustrated reported last year.

Another key piece of criteria that reportedly has been considered is the humidity level outside. If the humidity is expected to be above 50%, then the Globe Life Field roof will typically stay closed. That's because some of the concourse areas could become slick with higher humidity, even if that doesn't mean it's raining, as SI reported.

Then again, none of those guidelines might have trumped the Rangers' desire to simply avoid what happened on Opening Day of 2023. Texas started with the roof open, fell behind to the Phillies 4-0, and then it started raining.

The stadium crews quickly moved to shut the roof -- it takes only 12 minutes to do so -- and the Rangers responded with a nine-run bottom of the fourth inning.

The roof debate popped up again in October during the World Series, when the roof was opened for Game 4. At the time, that was the Rangers' first open-air game in five months. The call to open the roof was made by Major League Baseball. The Rangers went on to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks that night, setting up their series clinching Game 5 in Arizona.


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