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View Full Version : Why don't more fields have retractable roofs?


JermaineDye05
06-13-2009, 03:19 PM
Since the Sox are playing in Milwaukee it got me thinking as to why more teams don't use retractable roofs like the Brewers and Mariners. I guess one argument would be that wind and weather conditions are just part of the game and eliminating them would take away from the game of baseball. It just seems to me that more and more each year there are rain outs and sometimes snow outs, this is especially frustrating during the playoffs.

DSpivack
06-13-2009, 03:49 PM
Baseball has always had to deal with weather. It's not anything new, and baseball is an outdoor game.

Most retractable roofs stadiums aren't very exciting, either.

35th and Shields
06-13-2009, 04:11 PM
Also much more expensive to build.

PKalltheway
06-13-2009, 04:14 PM
Also much more expensive to build.
Took the words right out of my mouth. Besides, baseball is meant to be played outdoors. Rain outs and postponements have happened in baseball since the creation of baseball.

TDog
06-13-2009, 04:27 PM
Aside from the expense, configuring a stadium for a retractable roof is limiting and leads to some compromises. The highest seats in Phoenix (whatever the former BOB is called now) are steeper than any seats that existed at the Cell before the remodeling. Miller Park would be a better place to watch a game if it didn't have a retractable roof. The park, really is quite dismal with the roof closed. And early in the park's history there were leakage and mechanical problems with the roof anyway. You can't blame the deaths of the construction workers who were killed in the building of Milwaukee's retractable roof on retractable roofs in general.

I've never been to Seattle's stadium, but as I understand it, the roof isn't so much a roof as a cover that blocks the rain. It doesn't insulate from the cold.

Chrisaway
06-13-2009, 05:00 PM
Can you imagine how ugly the Cell would be with a retractable roof monstrosity on it?

Brian26
06-13-2009, 05:07 PM
Aside from the expense, configuring a stadium for a retractable roof is limiting and leads to some compromises. The highest seats in Phoenix (whatever the former BOB is called now) are steeper than any seats that existed at the Cell before the remodeling.

The steepness of the upper deck at the Cell remains the same as it was the first day it opened in 1991. The only difference since the 2003 renovations is the decreased height of the top row.

Money is the biggest issue. Any configuration can be designed with enough available money. Unfortunately, usually that money comes from the taxpayers.

TDog
06-13-2009, 05:24 PM
The steepness of the upper deck at the Cell remains the same as it was the first day it opened in 1991. The only difference since the 2003 renovations is the decreased height of the top row.

Money is the biggest issue. Any configuration can be designed with enough available money. Unfortunately, usually that money comes from the taxpayers.

The difference at the Cell now is that I don't read constant complaining about the steepness of the upper deck any more. I actually sat in the last row of the upper deck for a game in 2000 and didn't have a problem with it, except that I scraped my hand on the ceiling when the Sox tied the A's in the ninth. Getting to the seats was less vertical than I experienced in Phoenix and Milwaukee.

Edit: And the public financing for Miller Park ended a couple of political careers.

LoveYourSuit
06-13-2009, 06:18 PM
Aside from the expense, configuring a stadium for a retractable roof is limiting and leads to some compromises. The highest seats in Phoenix (whatever the former BOB is called now) are steeper than any seats that existed at the Cell before the remodeling. Miller Park would be a better place to watch a game if it didn't have a retractable roof. The park, really is quite dismal with the roof closed. And early in the park's history there were leakage and mechanical problems with the roof anyway. You can't blame the deaths of the construction workers who were killed in the building of Milwaukee's retractable roof on retractable roofs in general.

I've never been to Seattle's stadium, but as I understand it, the roof isn't so much a roof as a cover that blocks the rain. It doesn't insulate from the cold.

Speaking of, I never knew there was vide of it. Here it is. Very sad.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBDJM13rJ-k

SOXfnNlansing
06-13-2009, 07:11 PM
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

NDSox12
06-13-2009, 08:19 PM
I've never been to Seattle's stadium, but as I understand it, the roof isn't so much a roof as a cover that blocks the rain. It doesn't insulate from the cold.

I have been to Safeco and I completely agree. It is the only one of the retractable roof stadiums that actually feels like an outdoor stadium. That is why it is my favorite of all of them.

TheVulture
06-13-2009, 08:27 PM
It's because no one built them.

Britt Burns
06-13-2009, 11:40 PM
$$$$$

thedudeabides
06-14-2009, 12:23 AM
As others have mentioned, money is an issue, but I think you are going to see more and more parks built with retractable roofs, if applicable. It is also a relatively new concept they are getting better and better at. A good example is Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts new home. They can open the roof and the end zones have the capability to open the glass, which I heard was the largest moving glass fixture in North America.

The Arizona Cardinals stadium has the ability to slide the the grass out of the stadium to leave a concrete surface to hold other events, and also an irrigation system outside to care for the grass. I believe this was something that was done first in Japan, and then Europe for soccer stadiums. They are making some pretty cool advancements.

Lucas Oil (http://politicalnightmare.com/images/lucasoil/tour/openedup1.JPG)

University of Phoenix Stadium (http://www.stadiumsofnfl.com/nfc/UniversityofPhoenixStadium.htmhttp://www.stadiumsofnfl.com/nfc/UniversityofPhoenixStadium.htm)

The Dallas Cowboys are also opening an impressive new retractable roof stadium this year. I know these are all football stadiums, which have easier dimensions to build multi-use venues, but you can see new stadiums starting to go this route. If the Twins had the financing, they would have built a retractable roof.

Baseball is also the only sport that doesn't have fixed dimensions for their fields, so the aesthetics can be a source of pride for new stadiums, and gives a different freedom for creativity.

I have only been to Toronto and Milwaukee to see a game in a retractable roof stadium. Luckily, both had the roof open, which I've heard from fans is a much better experience.

Nellie_Fox
06-14-2009, 01:45 AM
As others have mentioned, money is an issue, but I think you are going to see more and more parks built with retractable roofs, if applicable.I disagree. I think that, more and more, people are fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, and won't tolerate the added cost (which is substantial) of retractable roofs.

A game gets rained out. Big deal.

thedudeabides
06-14-2009, 09:55 AM
I disagree. I think that, more and more, people are fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, and won't tolerate the added cost (which is substantial) of retractable roofs.

A game gets rained out. Big deal.

You may be right, and for the most part I agree with you when it comes to baseball. I'd rather they kept the originality of baseball stadiums and some of their great designs.

The financing may be more, but they also generate a lot of money with concerts, bowl games, NCAA basketball tournaments, and things of the like. It's easier to pass the money on to the public when you can show it can make money outside of a single sport. I'm glad none of the Chicago sports teams play in a sterile dome, but I'm pretty surprised the city doesn't have one.

Hitmen77
06-14-2009, 10:18 AM
I disagree. I think that, more and more, people are fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, and won't tolerate the added cost (which is substantial) of retractable roofs.

A game gets rained out. Big deal.

Plus, as far as MLB is concerned I think we've pretty much reached the point were almost every team has a stadium that isn't going to be replaced any time soon.

After the Marlins ballpark opens (retractable roof), the only teams left looking for a new stadium in the foreseeable future are the Rays and the A's. If the A's stay in California and somehow get a new stadium, I doubt they'd go the retractable route since the weather is mild out there.

So, aside from maybe the Rays at some point, don't look for any new retractable roofs in MLB for at least a few decades.

downstairs
06-14-2009, 10:21 AM
Plus, as far as MLB is concerned I think we've pretty much reached the point were almost every team has a stadium that isn't going to be replaced any time soon.

So, aside from maybe the Rays at some point, don't look for any new retractable roofs in MLB for at least a few decades.

Fenway and Wrigley will be replaced. Not tomorrow, not next year, but I predict within 5-10 years.

My guess is that neither would have a dome or retractable. They'll go the Yankees way and try to emulate the old stadium as much as possible.

slavko
06-14-2009, 10:42 AM
Because macho sports fans want to have games played in brutal conditions at the most important times and render the taxpayer funded fields unusable for any purpose during offseason. Did I say something wrong?

Bobby Thigpen
06-14-2009, 11:12 AM
Because macho sports fans want to have games played in brutal conditions at the most important times and render the taxpayer funded fields unusable for any purpose during offseason. Did I say something wrong?
No.

You just didn't make any sense.

Shoeless
06-14-2009, 06:31 PM
I disagree. I think that, more and more, people are fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, and won't tolerate the added cost (which is substantial) of retractable roofs.

A game gets rained out. Big deal.

For the most part, I agree with you. That being said, Minnesota is going to be dismal in April and October.

However, we can fix the October problem by beating them.

slavko
06-14-2009, 07:18 PM
Baseball has always had to deal with weather. It's not anything new, and baseball is an outdoor game.

Most retractable roofs stadiums aren't very exciting, either.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Besides, baseball is meant to be played outdoors. Rain outs and postponements have happened in baseball since the creation of baseball.

The change from a 154 game season to 162, the elimination of scheduled doubleheaders, and the addition of 12 playoff games means you're playing the WS in conditions which used to cause the cancellation of regular season games in the Northern states. I can't dismiss this as an age-old occurrence, nor can we ignore it as tradition. What do you think is meant by "The Boys of Summer?"


I've never been to Seattle's stadium, but as I understand it, the roof isn't so much a roof as a cover that blocks the rain. It doesn't insulate from the cold.

Seattle has a coastal climate nothing like what we have in IL. It doesn't get COLD there except in the depths of Winter. It does here.

I disagree. I think that, more and more, people are fed up with taxpayer funding of stadiums, and won't tolerate the added cost (which is substantial) of retractable roofs.

A game gets rained out. Big deal.

But.......people are not so fed up with the whole idea they've stopped building new stadiums. So 700 million, no problem, 900 million big outrage? Not logical.

Frater Perdurabo
06-14-2009, 07:31 PM
Minnesota is going to be dismal in April and October.

Isn't Minnesota dismal year-round? :tongue:

TDog
06-14-2009, 08:06 PM
...
Seattle has a coastal climate nothing like what we have in IL. It doesn't get COLD there except in the depths of Winter. It does here. ...

Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland can be cold venues for baseball, night baseball in particular. Oakland in August can remind me of Chicago in April. I know this from experience in both Chicago and Oakland. (I have visited Seattle a lot, but not to see baseball.) In the Bay Area, people don't complain as much about AT&T as they did about Candlestick, but when you have a stadium fronting San Francisco Bay (McCovey Cove is part of San Francisco Bay), you're going to be in store for some cold night games no matter when you play them.

Of course, just as baseball was meant to be played outside, it was meant to be played in the daytime. They don't even play Saturday and Sunday World Series games in the daytime anymore.

Bucky F. Dent
06-14-2009, 08:22 PM
Also much more expensive to build.

That's the answer, IMO.

DSpivack
06-14-2009, 10:22 PM
Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland can be cold venues for baseball, night baseball in particular. Oakland in August can remind me of Chicago in April. I know this from experience in both Chicago and Oakland. (I have visited Seattle a lot, but not to see baseball.) In the Bay Area, people don't complain as much about AT&T as they did about Candlestick, but when you have a stadium fronting San Francisco Bay (McCovey Cove is part of San Francisco Bay), you're going to be in store for some cold night games no matter when you play them.

Of course, just as baseball was meant to be played outside, it was meant to be played in the daytime. They don't even play Saturday and Sunday World Series games in the daytime anymore.

Before going a few games this April during the season's first week at USCF, the coldest baseball game I've ever been to was an August night game at AT&T, the Giants played the Braves. Sitting in the upper deck with the wind blowing off the bay, it was quite chilly.

As the old adage attributed to (but never proven that he said it) Mark Twain goes, "the coldest winter I ever spent was a July in San Francisco."

doublem23
06-14-2009, 10:37 PM
Thankfully, retractable roofs are expensive as ****, because they suck.

I think someone here compared watching a game in a dome with the roof open and watching a game at an open air park like driving a car with the sunroof open and driving a convertible.

Roofs blow.

Nellie_Fox
06-15-2009, 01:12 AM
For the most part, I agree with you. That being said, Minnesota is going to be dismal in April and October.The weather was MUCH nicer in the Twin Cities during April this year than it was in Chicago. When the Twins were in Chicago in April, the games were played in the 40's; it was in the 60's in Minneapolis.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press runs a little side-bar thing with the number of games that would have been lost to weather this year had there been an outdoor stadium. Number to date: zero.

Isn't Minnesota dismal year-round? :tongue:Yeah, nine months of winter followed by three months of marginal sledding.

Seriously, our winters can be much colder than Chicago, but spring, summer, and fall are just not that much different.

Frater Perdurabo
06-15-2009, 06:27 AM
The weather was MUCH nicer in the Twin Cities during April this year than it was in Chicago. When the Twins were in Chicago in April, the games were played in the 40's; it was in the 60's in Minneapolis.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press runs a little side-bar thing with the number of games that would have been lost to weather this year had there been an outdoor stadium. Number to date: zero.

Yeah, nine months of winter followed by three months of marginal sledding.

Seriously, our winters can be much colder than Chicago, but spring, summer, and fall are just not that much different.

I've been to Minnesota once, at age 7, in mid-spring 1984, to visit my dying grandfather at Mayo Clinic. At least the weather was nice. In fact, it was so hot on the drive up there that we had to run the AC in our conversion van, but then had to turn it off because all the electrical systems began to fail (the serp belt was about to break, as we found out when we pulled into the Chevy dealer somewhere east of Rochester). I'll be in Minneapolis for a conference this late July, and it happens to coincide with the Sox visit to the dome. I work with a Minnesota native, and she suggested I bring bug spray. By brother-in-law echoed that advice (he's from Avon; his dad owns a trucking company). Are the mosquitoes really as big as Nick Punto?
:o:

MarySwiss
06-15-2009, 08:30 AM
I've been to Minnesota once, at age 7, in mid-spring 1984, to visit my dying grandfather at Mayo Clinic. At least the weather was nice. In fact, it was so hot on the drive up there that we had to run the AC in our conversion van, but then had to turn it off because all the electrical systems began to fail (the serp belt was about to break, as we found out when we pulled into the Chevy dealer somewhere east of Rochester). I'll be in Minneapolis for a conference this late July, and it happens to coincide with the Sox visit to the dome. I work with a Minnesota native, and she suggested I bring bug spray. By brother-in-law echoed that advice (he's from Avon; his dad owns a trucking company). Are the mosquitoes really as big as Nick Punto?
:o:

Bigger. :wink:

But what you really have to watch out for are the deer flies; those things smart!! Although I'm not sure how big a presence they are in Minneapolis; whenever we were in Minnesota, we were always out in the country.

ewokpelts
06-15-2009, 08:57 AM
Fenway and Wrigley will be replaced. Not tomorrow, not next year, but I predict within 5-10 years.

My guess is that neither would have a dome or retractable. They'll go the Yankees way and try to emulate the old stadium as much as possible.red sox ownership would disagree, as they spent a ton of thier own money to rennovate and expand fenway since 2001. fenway only has 3 years till it's the first 100 year old stadium still in operation. and i suspect ricketts, or whoever buys the cubs, will do the same to wrigley.

Whappeh
06-15-2009, 09:13 AM
red sox ownership would disagree, as they spent a ton of thier own money to rennovate and expand fenway since 2001. fenway only has 3 years till it's the first 100 year old stadium still in operation. and i suspect ricketts, or whoever buys the cubs, will do the same to wrigley.

The Red Sox say they expect Fenway to last another 50 years.

ewokpelts
06-15-2009, 09:53 AM
The Red Sox say they expect Fenway to last another 50 years.probably, as they did structural work as well as making it pretty

TwinKess
06-15-2009, 10:36 AM
Bigger. :wink:

But what you really have to watch out for are the deer flies; those things smart!! Although I'm not sure how big a presence they are in Minneapolis; whenever we were in Minnesota, we were always out in the country.


Live and work downtown and I haven't seen one in so long I've almost forgotten about them.

jdm2662
06-15-2009, 11:12 AM
Roofs cost a lot of money. that's the main reason. Second, out door sports are meant to be played outdoors. Third, I've been to Minnesota in April before, and it snowed three inches. I was one of those that thought they need a roof. Now, after being by the lake the last three months, we need it more than they do. They actually have had a decent spring as Nellie pointed out. Anywhere near the lake has been short of a diaster.

Luke
06-15-2009, 11:45 AM
I think it comes down to this; will the added cost of a roof offset lost revenue from games when it's 40 degrees? To put a retractable roof on a park, there have to be enough bad days each to create opportunities for a significant number of people to go to games when they normally wouldn't.

Hitmen77
06-15-2009, 01:34 PM
Baseball has always had to deal with weather. It's not anything new, and baseball is an outdoor game.

Most retractable roofs stadiums aren't very exciting, either.

Most of the retractable roof ballparks were actually built because of excessive heat (Phoenix), humidity (Houston, Miami), or rain (Seattle) in parts of the country that rarely get very cold. The only "cold weather" retractable roofs are in Toronto and Milwaukee.

.... and I agree, the retractable roof stadiums lose much of the charm of fully open-air parks.

I have been to Safeco and I completely agree. It is the only one of the retractable roof stadiums that actually feels like an outdoor stadium. That is why it is my favorite of all of them.

Agreed.

red sox ownership would disagree, as they spent a ton of thier own money to rennovate and expand fenway since 2001. fenway only has 3 years till it's the first 100 year old stadium still in operation. and i suspect ricketts, or whoever buys the cubs, will do the same to wrigley.

That leaves only the Dodgers, Angels, Royals, and Blue Jays with a pre-"New Comiskey" ballpark. The Dodgers and Angels aren't going anywhere (and they'd never built a retractable roof in SoCal anyway). The Royals aren't going anywhere with Kaufmann Stadium just refurbished. The Blue Jays already have a retractable roof.

Aside for possibly the Rays and the A's, we're not going to see any new ballparks in MLB after 2012 for a long, long time to come.

mrfourni
06-15-2009, 05:24 PM
Aside possibly for the Rays and the A's, we're not going to see any new ballparks in MLB after 2012 for a long, long time to come.

My guess is that once the sale is done, the Cubs will take a serious look at leaving Wrigley because they need more revenue (parking, concessions, luxury boxes, etc.), and there is a strong possibility that they'll build new somewhere else in the city.

After that, I agree. The White Sox very well may be the next team looking for a new ballpark, and I think USCF probably lasts another 25-30 years, at least. Although Chicago ballparks/arenas/stadiums have been known to stick around for a while.

Nellie_Fox
06-16-2009, 02:04 AM
I work with a Minnesota native, and she suggested I bring bug spray. By brother-in-law echoed that advice (he's from Avon; his dad owns a trucking company). Are the mosquitoes really as big as Nick Punto?
:o:I've been to Avon; bought my dogs from a breeder there. The mosquitos can be pretty bad. It's often said that they are the state bird. Never had problems with deer flies, though. They must be an "up nort" thing.

As for April snowfall of 3" in Minnesota:
...CHICAGO... April 2, 1975: WINTER GAVE NORTHERN ILLINOIS A LATE PUNCH. HIGH TEMPERATURES FELL INTO THE MIDDLE AND LOWER 30S WITH A HEAVY...WET SNOW. CHICAGO HAD A SNOWFALL TOTAL OF 9.4 INCHES...THE GREATEST SNOWFALL EVER RECORDED FOR THIS DATE. JUST UNDER ANOTHER HALF INCH OF SNOW FELL THE NEXT DAY...AND THE HIGH TEMPERATURE DIDN'T EVEN GET ABOVE FREEZING. THE SNOW DID NOT COMPLETELY MELT AWAY UNTIL ELEVEN DAYS LATER.

...CHICAGO...April 16, 1961: A LATE WINTER STORM MOVED ACROSS NORTHERN ILLINOIS...WITH SNOW FALLING FOR 3 CONSECUTIVE DAYS. ON THIS DATE ALONE OVER 5 INCHES WAS RECODED IN CHICAGO. WINDS WERE GUSTING UP TO 45 MPH CAUSING DRIFTS TO REACH UP TO 10 FEET HIGH. TRANSPORTATION CAME TO A STANDSTILL WITH STRANDED PEOPLE STAYING OVERNIGHT IN NEARBY HOMES AND ARMORIES. AT LEAST SIX DEATHS WERE ATTRIBUTED TO THE HEAVY SNOW.

MarySwiss
06-16-2009, 08:09 AM
I've been to Avon; bought my dogs from a breeder there. The mosquitos can be pretty bad. It's often said that they are the state bird. Never had problems with deer flies, though. They must be an "up nort" thing.


Seems likely. We used to have family in Deerwood, which is up near Brainerd.

Nellie_Fox
06-17-2009, 01:13 AM
Seems likely. We used to have family in Deerwood, which is up near Brainerd.But the Brainerd area has so much else going for it, a few bugs are a minor inconvenience.

MarySwiss
06-17-2009, 08:08 AM
But the Brainerd area has so much else going for it, a few bugs are a minor inconvenience.
Those deer flies are nasty, though. I was only bitten by one once, about 20 years ago, but I still remember it vividly.

goofymsfan
06-18-2009, 09:18 PM
As mentioned Safeco's "roof" isn't so much a roof as it is a giant umbrella. If it is raining and the wind is blowing, people will still get wet. Heck, last season in April, we had snow and wind. Not fun getting snowed on when the roof is closed. When the roof is closed, it does also help trap some of the heat to make it a wee-bit warmer.

southside rocks
06-19-2009, 06:50 AM
red sox ownership would disagree, as they spent a ton of thier own money to rennovate and expand fenway since 2001. fenway only has 3 years till it's the first 100 year old stadium still in operation. and i suspect ricketts, or whoever buys the cubs, will do the same to wrigley.

The numbers that are floated about how much work Wrigley will need are astronomical. Meanwhile, the Ricketts group can't even get the negotiations done to complete the sale. Twenty-seven months in, the sale of the Cubs is still a very not-done deal. Wonder if it'll take them 100+ years to sell the freaking team.

In any event, the park situation is a problem for whomever buys the Cubs.

Red Barchetta
06-19-2009, 01:33 PM
I think it comes down to this; will the added cost of a roof offset lost revenue from games when it's 40 degrees? To put a retractable roof on a park, there have to be enough bad days each to create opportunities for a significant number of people to go to games when they normally wouldn't.

I agree, plus the fields today are designed much better to drain away water. Led by our own "Sodfather", the fields are able to withstand a lot more water and still be playable shortly afterwards. Less rainouts, but more rain delays...

TwinKess
06-19-2009, 02:17 PM
Installation of the Target Field drainage system is going on right now. Seating bowl has been completed and seats are being installed as I type!

Outdoor baseball can't get here soon enough...