Best Boondoggle 2016 | Texas Rangers' New Stadium | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

In May, the Rangers and the city of Arlington announced plans to hold an election to finance a new stadium for the Rangers, despite the venue currently know as Globe Life Park being just over 20 years old. The problem with the Rangers' current stadium, as it's been since it opened, is the park's lack of a roof. July and August games can be completely miserable, the team's owners say, so the Rangers need a stadium with a roof. And the city of Arlington needs to pay for half of it. The Arlington City Council quickly moved to put the stadium measure on the November ballot, where it is sure to be approved. Arlington residents will keep paying the tax that is currently helping finance AT&T Stadium and all of us who happen to live elsewhere will continue to reap the benefits. Bring on the climate-controlled bliss.

Eric Nadel's voice sounds like summer in North Texas. The Rangers play-by-play announcer, winner of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford Frick award in 2014, has been with the team for 38 seasons and is consistently recognized as one of the very best radio broadcasters in the game. Nadel rises to the moment without overselling his call or the occasion. His signature, "that. ball. is. history." home run call is, for Rangers fans, one of the happiest sounds in the world. Whether the Rangers are good, as they are this year, or bad, as they were in 2014, Nadel is an essential guide to their journey.

Best Reminder of the Way Things Used To Be and What's To Come

Dallas Stars

For a moment this spring, the hearts of Dallas sports fans belonged, for the first time in a long time, to the Dallas Stars. The Rangers' season hadn't ramped up yet, and the Mavericks were quickly dispatched in the first round of the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the Stars had attained the top seed in the NHL's Western Conference and taken down the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs. The Stars ended up losing their next series, a seven-game classic against the St. Louis Blues, but their run served as a pleasant reminder of the team's success in the late '90s and early '00s, when they were the hottest ticket in town. With stars like Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin slated to be around for years to come, there is hope that the Stars' next glory days might be just over the horizon.

The Rangers signed Ian Desmond as an afterthought. It was Feb. 29, just before the start of spring training, and the former Nationals shortstop hadn't yet found anyone to give him a chance to resuscitate his career — on life support after a career worst season in 2015. The Rangers thought Desmond might be able to provide league-average production in left field, and Desmond placed a bet on himself by signing a one-year contract for just $8 million. After a slow start to the season, Desmond has been an MVP candidate, taking over center field from a flailing, demoted Delino Deshields and playing one of baseball's most important defensive positions while learning on the fly. He's hit, too, mashing his way to being among the Rangers' team leaders in home runs and slugging percentage.

Photo Courtesy of Bowlounge

Offering retro bowling at its finest in a funky warehouse space, Bowlounge offers 12 authentic wood bowling lanes, vintage ball returns and a 75-foot bar crafted from an old bowling lane where a selection of 40 beers on tap, scotch, whiskey and bourbons await the most thirsty bowler. Coin-operated pool tables and popular video games such as Street Fighter, Buck Hunter, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga make the small vintage bowling alley feel as if it were a place out of time. "It has a really nice old school feel to it," one customer claimed. "It's 10 times better than any other bowling alley I've ever been to."

Readers' Pick:

Bowl & Barrel

Michael Tepid writes about baseball with the passion of a fan and the perspective of someone who knows as much or more about the Texas Rangers' farm system than anyone outside of the organization itself. Using the moniker Tepid Participation, Tepid, especially through Twitter, is DFW's best guide to who's a dude (going to make the big leagues someday) and who isn't on Rangers' farm. Follow him on Twitter and know more than any of your friends about the team.

Readers' Pick:

Tim Cowlishaw, The Dallas Morning News

Located on the northeast side of downtown's central business district, Dallas' T. Boone Pickens YMCA has used the oil baron's money to become the nicest Y in the country. Top-rate exercise equipment, an Olympic-size pool, rooftop track and cheap rates for families, young people and people with lower incomes allow the downtown Y to take much of the edge off of dragging yourself to do that workout you just really don't want to do on a Wednesday night.

Readers' Pick:


Color runs, cancer runs, beer runs, meat runs (that last one is an actual event, not an intestinal disturbance, at least not intentionally) — Dallas has runs and races of all length and themes, but we're giving the nod this year to the traditional Dallas favorite. Why? For several reasons: It supports local YMCAs and their programs; it's not in the heat of the summer; it's a good excuse to get out of the house and away from the family for at least part of Thanksgiving; and a 5K run burns roughly the number of calories contained in a slice of pumpkin pie. We can walk the 5K with our dogs and burn about the same calories. If we're ambitious (we're not) the 8-mile course in the Turkey Trot bags us TWO pieces of guilt-free pie, and a little light warm-up and cool down means we can toss on some whipped cream, too. Some run for competition, some for health. We run for pie. We win.

Readers' Pick:

YMCA Turkey Trot

Basketball, dodgeball, kickball, volley ball and something called pickleball (a mash-up of tennis, pingpong and badminton), Dallas' recreation centers have all your balls covered with their free to low-priced leagues, and not just for seniors or kids. Regular adults can join in too. Since these are city leagues, don't expect the free-flowing booze you might get in private intramural groups, but on the other hand, you don't have to get the boozing expected in some private leagues. Team sports not your bag? The city's rec centers also offer a full schedule of classes at various level in the martial arts, yoga and assorted fitness classes. Prices range from free to $180 for league entries.

Readers' Pick:

Dallas Sport & Social Club — Sand Volleyball

REI has always offered the most complete inventory of high-quality outdoor gear and clothing in Dallas, but the problem in the old days was its location in a place reachable only by an almost inaccessible LBJ Freeway service drive. Now in their second year in a sleek new store on Northwest Highway, across Shady Brook Lane from Half Price Books, REI is easy for most city-dwellers to get to and well worth the effort. Prices are competitive on tents, packs, bags and all kinds of gear for a wide variety of outdoor pursuits from climbing to paddling. You can also spend a fortune here, if you've got one to spend. This is one of those stores where the problem is never finding what you really need. It's finding what you don't really need but buying it because it's cool.

Readers' Pick:


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