As playoff fever continues to heat up, Texas Rangers president and co-owner-in-waiting Nolan Ryan said the team is exploring ways to reduce the temperature at The Ballpark in Arlington.
"You can't justify putting a retractable roof on this stadium at the current cost of doing so," Ryan said in a chat with ESPNDallas.com on Wednesday afternoon. "We've looked at sun screens that would reduce the temperature in the ballpark by 15 degrees, but we haven't come up with something that is economically feasible on that yet."
The issue has elevated after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who lost out on his bid to purchase the Rangers to the Ryan-Chuck Greenberg group during last week's bankruptcy auction, discussed why the heat in Arlington has put the Rangers at a "disadvantage." The Dallas-Fort Worth area also is in the midst of a 12-day streak with temperatures above the 100-degree mark -- with the heat index even higher.
"I don't know if you can go top five [payroll] just because the Rangers are always at a disadvantage just because of the heat factor out there [at Rangers Ballpark]," Cuban told ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas. "You're never going to be able to quite charge the same as Boston is just because of the comfort factor going out there. A big part of what we wanted to be able to do is try to find leverage points with the city of Arlington to try to come up with some solutions for sitting out in the bleachers.
"It can be brutal out there."
More than 46,000 fans showed up for Tuesday's game against the New York Yankees. Large crowds are expected for Wednesday's game against the Yankees and through the weekend, as the Rangers host the Boston Red Sox.
Weather forecasts project highs above 100 degrees to continue at least through Sunday.
Ryan, however, did say that the new ownership group was planning on other changes at the Ballpark for 2011.
"We are planning on having a new scoreboard on the home run porch and also additional video boards," Ryan said in the ESPNDallas.com chat. "The scoreboard will be bigger and state of the art, but we have to make a decision on that by the end of the month and I don't know the specifics on it yet. We're discussing whether it's one large videoboard or two smaller ones, whatever makes the most sense and fits the ballpark best."
Ryan also said that there is a "high probability" that the Rangers will move their Triple-A franchise from Oklahoma City to Round Rock, Texas.