Live from Arlington
After much fanfare, Texas Live, the Arlington mega complex, has finally arrived. Much has already been written, but with the August 9 grand opening now behind us, here are the 5 most important takeaways you need to know.
1. Tips for parking
The complex sits on what still looks like a giant construction site (a planned hotel has a ways to go) between AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park. Texas Live shares parking lots with Globe Life Park. Nearby Lot B — just east on Randol Mill Road and Stadium Drive — is where they want you to park.
On days when there are not public events at either venue, parking for Texas Live guests is free in Lot B. Things get more complicated and expensive on event days. While parking specifics are not yet posted on the Texas Live website, here's what the City of Arlington says:
• When the Rangers have a home night game, Texas Live guests can park in Lot B for free until 3 pm. After 3 pm, they'll be be charged the event parking rate.
•When the Rangers have a home day game, Texas Live guests can park in Lot B for the event parking rate until the end of the game; then complimentary parking is available.
• On event days at AT&T Stadium and/or public non-baseball events at Globe Life Park, Texas Live guests can park in Lot B for the price being charged for the event. This price may vary per event, and the price will be announced.
A shuttle or fleet of golf carts or pedi bikes running between Texas Live and the sports venues or outer parking lots would be useful, but no word on that. No matter where you park, wear comfortable shoes because ...
2. It's a sprawling place, but easy to navigate
If photos make Texas Live look like a shopping mall, the comparison's not too far-fetched. You walk into a giant central atrium, of sorts, which has the 90-foot screen for game watching. (The picture and sound system are home run-quality.) The restaurants and bars — Pudge's Pizza, Troy's, Lockhart Smoke House, Arlington Sports & Social, Guy Fieri's Taco Joint, PBR Cowboy Bar and Miller Tavern — surround this "Live Arena" on two stories, and they offer plenty of views (and dozens of their own screens) for game-watching, too.
Out back is the concert venue called Arlington Backyard. (This is also where you can belly up to the Balcones Whiskey Bar.) The 5,000-capacity venue has a few levels. If you snag a spot on the highest level, you get a bar stool and great views of the sunset and nearby sports venues. Mercifully, the whole thing is covered, and giant ceiling fans create a breeze overhead (another reason to head for the top floor).
Just know when you're thirsty ...
3. Expect sticker shock on drinks and food
Drink prices are a little nuts. One Revolver Brewing Blood & Honey on draft ($13), plus one glass of chardonnay ($10, poured from a tiny plastic bottle), plus tax and a 1 percent "facility fee" at the PBR Cowboy Bar will set you back $25 and some change. Specialty cocktails there are $15, and $20 if you want them in a blinky, light-up plastic boot.
Food is plentiful but pricey, too. For example, one order of carne asada tacos (three to a basket) and a Jarritos soda from Guy Fieri's Taco Joint is about $16.
4. Boy, are those margaritas at Troy's tasty
Turns out, Troy Aikman knows margaritas. Or at least he's attached his name to a restaurant that shakes up pretty fine ones. Made fresh behind the bar at Troy's, they're as colorful as they are yummy. Try the purple-hued blackberry marg. Or take a teammate and splurge on the larger "Ocho" (eight, like Troy's Cowboys jersey number, get it?), which is so stout that it's meant for two people to share. Enjoyed best at a table under the trees in the pretty courtyard.
And last but not least, ugh ...
5. There are scantily clad women
No, it's not a strip club (despite a comment overheard at the entrance), but PBR Cowboy Bar is another in a line of Hooters-type places that has females dressed like strippers. They wear chaps over teeny tiny red undies that expose an R-rated amount of "thuttox." These are not sporty, cheerleader types and they're not necessarily servers, who themselves wear midriff-baring plaid shirts and Daisy Duke-short shorts. These are female dancers who wiggle around on a stage and platforms throughout the bar, merely to be looked at.
In these #MeToo days, it's irksome and disappointing, and it should be noted that men who work there wear full-length jeans, regular-fitting T-shirts, and cowboy hats. The bar — which opens to Backyard Live and has a steady stream of indoor-outdoor-traffic — is described as "a powerhouse concept that brings an authentic country experience to Arlington." This authentic experience, apparently, must include objectifying women. Yee-freaking-haw.