Katy Cagle ('10) received the plum assignment of her career as an interior designer -- designing the clubhouses for the new Texas Rangers stadium, Globe Life Field.
But the avid sports fan did not expect how surreal the five-year assignment would be.
For example, Rangers announcer Chuck Morgan was at the kick-off meeting.
"He started speaking at the meeting," she says, "and I thought, ‘What? That's not your announcer voice? That's your regular voice?"
At another meeting, then-third baseman Adrián Beltré was in his socks, yelling at someone.
"Stay focused," she told herself.
Cagle once saw outfielder Joey Gallo and then-outfielder Shin-Soo Choo joking around.
"That's real life right now," she thought.
And at the final presentation, former infielder Michael Young was there.
"Nobody told me I was going to present to Michael Young," she says. "I had a bit of a moment. I get starstruck, I'm not going to lie."
Cagle, vice president of Venues Interiors for HKS Architects, loved the job -- even though the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to wait a year before she was able to see the finished product with a crowd. The stadium was home to last year's World Series, and earned rave reviews from the Rangers.
"They were very positive," she says. "You couldn't ask for a better client."
Cagle has always participated in sports -- such as soccer and swimming -- and still plays softball, so she got into the mindset of an athlete during her design work.
She thought about the sequence players go through -- going to get taped, recovery, changing -- as she designed the clubhouse and even placed a hydration machine so they could get a Powerade on their way out to the dugout.
It's not only functional, but the word "swanky" has been used to describe the clubhouse. The lockers, which are 9 feet by 4 feet, contain storage for clothes and hats, as well as LEDs and wireless charging.
"If I had a clubhouse I could go to, it would be the Rangers," she says.
The stadium also boasts cool amenities for spectators. Fans can sit on rocking chairs on the Karbach skyporch while watching the game and munching on BBQ.
"It's taking that idea of making the stadium as comfortable as your backyard," she says.
Other features -- such as 47 concession stands and a 6-feet tall Nolan Ryan bobblehead doll for fans to snap pictures with -- keep fans busy for the 82-game season.
"You have to keep them entertained," she says. "Baseball is a long game -- it could be three hours -- and it's a very long season with games every night. To keep those fans coming back, you have to give them options and things to do."
Cagle had always been interested in architecture. But when she toured AT&T Stadium, home of the Cowboys, she found her calling.
"There are people who designed the interior of stadiums?" she thought. "Sign. Me. Up."
A native of Mineola, she chose UNT for its outstanding interior design program. She especially appreciated teachers Johnnie Stark, associate professor of interior design, and Ronald Reed, now at Sam Houston State University. She landed the job at HKS about a year after graduation, starting with health care designs before moving into sports.
Cagle also helped design the locker room for the Rams at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, which will host the 2022 Super Bowl. Her next project will be a facility for a major league cricket team in Grand Prairie.
The most challenging part of her job?
"Every project we're trying to one-up the project we did before," she says. "There's so many things we could do."
But, she says, "I love every aspect of it."