ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers will use specially designed synthetic playing surface rather than grass in their new retractable-roof stadium that opens in 2020.
Texas' decision will make it the fourth of the 30 major league teams to use artificial turf. Toronto's Rogers Centre and Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field have had artificial turf since they opened, and Arizona's Chase Field is switching from grass to turf this season.
MLB has a high of 10 artificial surfaces, in 1977-78 and again from 1982-94.
The Rangers' current stadium, Globe Life Park, has had grass since it opened in 1994. The new ballpark is being built across the street.
Texas said Thursday the decision was made after almost two years of research regarding player safety, team performance and fan experience.
Shaw Sports Turf, which will provide the synthetic turf field, used Globe Life Park's current grass field as one of the benchmarks for an ongoing playability study. The company is also part of a kinesiology study with Auburn to research how players react on certain surfaces and says it will use that data to tune systems for player safety and optimal performance.