By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard
Opening Day 2016 in Major League Baseball (MLB) was not without it’s weather events. Two games were postponed and another one was delayed. There would have been three postponements if it wasn’t for the Milwaukee Brewers having the forethought to build a stadium with a retractable roof. If there were so many postponement and delays, why don’t more baseball stadiums have roofs?
It was coming down in Milwaukee, Wisconsin today. It looked like it was coming down sideways there for a while. Inside Miller Park though the players were in short sleeves as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 12-3. There was no such luck in Cleveland, Ohio or in the Bronx where the New York Yankees Wild Card rematch against the Houston Astros was postponed due to inclement weather. For whatever reason, Yankee Stadium and Progressive Field in Cleveland do not have retractable roofs.
It was more or less an tradition thing although the Indians could make the argument that the technology wasn’t in place when they built their ballpark back in the early 90’s. But why don’t the Yankees have one? Their stadium opened in 2009. Where they unconvinced about global warming? Where they thinking that it was going to be warmer in October or think that thunderstorms were not going to happen during the summer?
In 2012 Hurricane Sandy battered a good portion of the Northeastern United States. The very outer bands were making their presence felt in Game 4 of the World Series in Detroit, Michigan where the aforementioned Giants were in the midst of sweeping the Detroit Tigers. What if the Giants didn’t win that game? Hurricane Sandy would have delayed the World Series at least a few days. With a retractable roof, the game would have been played the next day.
What if the World Series was in New York or Boston or Philadelphia that year? We’re talking postponements of a week or more.
It’s not just a matter of comfort but of economics. How much does it cost to postpone a game? How cumbersome is it for the fans? Will that effect future games they may come to? Wouldn’t a retractable roof provide more comfort for fans and hence have them attend more games?
The fact is that humans cannot control the weather. They can control what it effects though. While there are very few plans to build any new baseball stadiums any time soon, when they do build the next generation of stadiums, they should consider a retractable roof. For economics sake.