Rain, Rain, Go Away
September 9, 2008 1:47 AM
The Strib ran a small item over the weekend in the Fixit column (which I think is only an online feature these days) provocatively titled Roof cannot be added to new Twins stadium.
Of course, this is not news to anyone who is a regular visitor here. But it was a bit dismaying to see so very little hard data in the blurb to either explain or justify the decision.
I'm busy right now preparing for a trip this weekend to get a final look at Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, and a first look at the respective new ballparks going up next door to each. So, here are a few links to my past articles on the subject of the roof. These should clear up any and all questions (though probably not change anyone's mind):
To Roof, or Not to Roof
Also, I tracked down a couple of my pre-blog posts over at DTFC -- still one of the best places around to talk Twins.
If you want to see the complete entries in context, here they are. Keep in mind that I hadn't quite come to my final conclusion by that point, but you can see some of the process I went through (which may or may not reflect some of the process the team went through) to come to an informed opinion:
Of 83 scheduled games (in 2004), a maximum of 22 (or 27%) could have been impacted by rain. Of those, 12 were possible or likely to result in cancellation or postponement.
Again I'm using data from Weather Underground, and checking a few hours before the game and during the approximately 3 hours when the game was being played. It's hard to know exactly how hard the rain was falling, so these can only be guesses at what umpires might have decided.
Figuring that 2004 was probably typical, and a $100M roof would last for 30 years, that's 660 games which could be saved by the roof at a cost of $151K per saved game. Add in a couple dozen cold games each year which more people would come to, and it seems like mere pennies for some comfort and the guarantee that games will be played.
That seems like something Carl should want to pay for on his own since it represents a pretty good financial return on investment.
My napkin numbers were really about costs only, assuming nothing about lost/retained revenue.
But looking at the revenue side a little on that same napkin, it seems like in the long run games on cold/cloudy/rainy days will be less attended than the equivalent games played under a roof. Take an example from above:
May 13, Mariners - 42, NNW 13, overcast, likely delayed start
The game would likely have been played on that day, just delayed by an hour or so. But without a roof, because it's been cold and rainy all day, there would be substantially fewer walk-up tickets sold. The net to that game is less tickets sold (though how much less is anyone's guess). Obviously, season ticket sales are not negatively affected by that day's weather (in fact, they were probably positively affected by the mere presence of a new stadium in the first place).
So a roof really represents an insurance policy, costing about $3.33M per year ($100M/30 years, excluding interest), against lost walk-up sales. With revenues at about $102M per season, it looks to me like a good deal. In other words, it's worth it if you expect you might lose more than 3% of your revenue ($3.33M/$102M) from weather-related lost walk-up sales.
But I guess it's hard to say for sure without some harder numbers.
(Personally, I think a bad roof -- which we're likely to get -- is worse than no roof because I don't want to watch any games inside an airplane hangar... That's just me. And that may change when I have to choose between going to a cold game with my small son or staying home where it's warm.)
If you are still not convinced, don't bother gnashing your teeth. It's just not worth it. Get over it by buying some sun screen and one of those nifty Twins sweatshirts. That's what I will be doing.
Two More Things
Here's an image I put together for my own benefit to understand what I'm looking at while watching the construction (click to enlarge).
One additional level will rise above what you see, but not in concrete. The View level is the seating which will be built above the Terrace level. You'll go up to the Terrace level, and then up a small flight of stairs to your seat in the View level. (Well, maybe you won't be doing that, but I'm pretty sure that I will...) The canopy roof will be built above that.
In case you have never seen these (they have been widely circulated, though I've never published them here), here are the schematic diagrams for each level:
Finally, thanks to everyone who has already ordered their 2009 construction calendars. There's still an early-bird discount available, but it's not as good as the one the first batch of early-birds got. The price will go up again on October 1, so don't delay!
I have a whirlwind schedule on my trip, but hopefully I'll have the time, technology and energy to post from NYC. That would be late Friday night at the earliest.
Until then, thanks for stopping by. Go, Twins bullpen!
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Section 139, Row 8
Nicely-cushioned seats, lots of room, great sightlines
Since pictures of the ballpark are forbidden, perhaps you'll enjoy this shot of the lovely apple tree in my front yard.
Legend's Club, Section E (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Here's a curious little room at the end of the circulation ramp. What could they be selling there?
The process of building the canopy is really amazing to watch.
This is the Metropolitan Club as viewed from the future Ballpark Authority office space.
Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.
Usher Anna hands out Homer Hankies
4th inning in the thinning crowd of the Grandstand.
Griffith Stadium (notch visible in lower photo at far left)
Carew atrium menu part 1
Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)
New section labels, but some curious choices.
A familiar view through the top floor elevator lobby window in ramp B (HRP View and Terrace).
Just some of the lumiaries who turned out for the unveiling (Terry is clearly thinking about Sidney Ponson).
Final Metrodome baseball sight
This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.
This is where the main ticket office will be.
Sky through steel.
Wrigley Field. Paradise? Not from these seats.
Double plays will be turned here.
Detail enclosing the main ticket window area
An escalator was going in the day I was there.
This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
This is a background image extracted from one of the blueprint pages. It's essentially a schematic of the park (Terrace Level). In it you can see the shape of the various seating areas (to a certain extent).
Yes, TC is smiling.
A sidewalk has sprouted between the HERC and the LRT tracks!
Puckett atrium menu part 2 (Those prices match elsewhere in the ballpark.)
The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".
Glove from above
The spruced up triangle really doesn't show much connection with the ballpark.
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BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures