ARLINGTON, Texas (KETK) – It is baseball time in Texas!

The Texas Rangers will begin their pandemic-shortened 2020 season on Friday and finally debut their new stadium, Globe Life Field to the rest of the nation.

The new facility, priced at just over $1 billion, had only been used for high school graduations until this week. The Rangers dropped two exhibition games to the Colorado Rockies, but are ready to play for real Friday night.

Games of course will look different as the 40,000 seats won’t be filled with fans, but rather cardboard cutouts of their most loyal followers. Second-year manager Chris Woodward said they’ll miss the energy they get from fans and will have to rely on each other for that.

Woodward said that veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus will be heavily relied on in that regard.

“We expect him to be a solid shortstop, to make all the plays, and to kind of be a leader in the clubhouse, to just guide guys in the right direction”

Chris Woodward, Texas Rangers Manager

Gov. Greg Abbott will be throwing out the virtual first pitch to start the 60-game schedule and get the season underway.

The Rangers go into tonight knowing that it is now a wide open race to play in October. Hours before the season got underway on Thursday, Major League Baseball approved a one-time expansion of the playoffs from 10 teams to 16, more than half of the league.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Lance Lynn on the mound.