Will ballpark upgrades change jet stream?

ARLINGTON -- As part of the upgrades going on at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the existing entrance to what was known as the Cuervo Club (now named the Capital One Club) behind home plate will be removed, leaving an open area for fans to not only see the field, but for the wind to blow through as well.

Perhaps it means nothing in terms of the jet stream effect at the park. A previous wind study, done in 2007, showed that enclosing the club helped balls travel 11 feet farther than they would without it (in normal conditions with a 20 mph wind). Of course, that same study, according to a story done by Jim Reeves for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, also said it depended on how far off the ground the ball was in terms of how much the wind helped or hurt it. The study wasn't conclusive enough for the organization to alter the club. It's worth noting that the park has changed and so has the area around it -- JerryWorld has since been built -- since that last study.

The fact that the team is changing the club now has little to do with jet streams and home runs, according to Rob Matwick, executive VP of ballpark operations.

"It's more for air circulation," Matwick said. "We haven't studied it, so I don't know what impact, if any, it might have. It was also to create a visual so when you walk up, you can see the field."

My prediction: It won't change much. But it sure will be fun to track it and see if the number of home runs is altered at all.

The club will make the concessions right behind home plate more like the setup in Vandergriff Plaza. By doing that, they are also moving the entrance to the club and allowing that to just be a wide-open area for fans walking into the stadium. It gives fans a quick glimpse of the field besides allowing the wind to blow through.