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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
Proudly Anti-Roof
More Reasons

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:

1 event level plan.jpg

Event Level

2 main concourse plan.jpg

Main Concourse

3 club level plan.jpg

Club Level

4 suite level plan.jpg

Suite Level

5 terrace level plan.jpg

Terrace Level

6 view level plan.jpg

View 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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Have fun on your trip to New York. I went to see the Twins play the Yankees this summer. Seeing Yankee Stadium for the first time was definitely worth the trip. On the return trip home I got to see a game at PNC Park. Talk about an awesome place to watch a game. The view was spectacular and the ballpark was phenomenal. Seeing it made me want our ballpark to arrive even sooner. It's always hard to go back to the dome after visiting outstanding ballparks like those two.

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 11:58 AM by nbrandt Highlight this comment 1

Rick, do you know how high the highest and lowest seats will be in the 'Terrace Level?' (upper & lower levels of the split-deck?)

Also, it appears in the model that there will be obstructed views in the left field corner of the Terrace Level due to the left field building. Have you heard anything from the Twins regarding this?

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 12:19 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 2

Enjoy the trip out east, Rick. While you're there, please have a hearty laugh at all the dejected Yankee fans who won't be making their "entitled" trip to the playoffs this year. And say hello to Johan for us - He's pitching great for the Mets.

I'm excited to see pics!

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 12:39 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 3

Here are some new pics courtesy of EZTHORSNON on flickr.

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 1:23 PM by Mo Highlight this comment 4

i wish you could see what was going on in center field...looks like a lot of steel has been erected...according to our one webcam

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 2:31 PM by Erik Highlight this comment 5

Finally we have some more details as far as the different levels of the ballpark. As far as the roof is concerned why do we always bring it up i thought the roof was a dead issue, we seem to always bring it up when there is some unfavorable weather.

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 3:55 PM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 6

According to the Star Tribune (click link), The Minnesota Twins and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak have schedule a "major announcement" for tomorrow at 10:30.

Does anyone know anything about this?

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 4:17 PM by Luke H. Highlight this comment 7

i just saw that too. could be the name of the stadium....

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 4:23 PM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 8

Baseball should, and will, be played outside when the new stadium is finished. Putting a roof on the building ruins the experience. if you don't believe me, go back and watch another game at the Dome.

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 4:33 PM by Dave T Highlight this comment 9

Sounds like they may announce the Twins are hosting the 2014 All-Star game

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 7:08 PM by luckylager Highlight this comment 10

MLB and Bud Selig announce the All-Star Game 2 years out...

Arizona, Philly, and St. Louis are still in line too. I'm excited for some new developments.

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 10:15 PM by OG Jeff Highlight this comment 11

They should give the American League two consecutive all-star games, perhaps in 2014 and 2015, just like they did to the National League in 2006 and 2007. That will not happen though considering they are going back to the traditional rotation of AL and NL each year.

Not that it really matters, but it would be nice to host the 2015 game since we hosted the 1965 and 1985 games.

Either way, we will take any All Star Game awarded to us at this point in time.

2009 - St. Louis
2010 - Anaheim
2011 - Arizona
2012 - Kansas City
2013 - Philadelphia/Cincinnati/San Diego/NY Mets
2014 - Minnesota

Posted on September 9, 2008 at 11:09 PM by Luke H. Highlight this comment 12

so, apparently they're going to announce they are bidding to host the game? i guess i don't see what the big deal is. it's six years away! mlb doesn't announce the host cities for the all-star game this far out. and it's a foregone conclusion they're going to eventually host the all-star game anyway. i'm hoping this news conference is more than just about this.

just put up a second webcam twins brass....i don't think that's asking for much from us ballpark rubes.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 10:05 AM by Tim Highlight this comment 13

Maybe they will be announcing the September callup of a webcam from the construction site of the Rochester Try 'n Save Supermarket.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 10:26 AM by Badjuggler Highlight this comment 14

Luke H. - I fixed your post for you :-)

They should give the American League two consecutive all-star games, perhaps in 2014 and 2015, just like they did to the National League in 2006 and 2007. That will not happen though considering they are going back to the traditional rotation of AL and NL each year.

Not that it really matters, but it would be nice to host the 2015 game since we hosted the 1965 and 1985 games.

Either way, we will take any All Star Game awarded to us at this point in time.

2009 - St. Louis
2010 - Anaheim
2011 - Arizona
2012 - Kansas City
2013 - Philadelphia/Cincinnati/San Diego/NY Mets
2014 - Minneapolis

i mean minneapolis & hennepin county are the ones paying for the new ballpark afterall, so let's give credit where credit is due.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 11:59 AM by Betaband Highlight this comment 15

Agreed Betaband.

A few other observations...

The mainstream local media has done an awful job covering the new ballpark. They keep reporting old news like the recent story that the new ballpark won't be "roof ready." They hardly take any pictures. They don't give many specifics, just hyperbole, like this will be a "modern Wrigley."

No wonder the comments sections at the are filled with ignorant posts, with people still complaining about the smell from the HERC, or the fact that Hennipin County isn't paying for a roof.

I'm also getting tired of people on these comments sections bashing the Rapid Park site. It's not the perfect site, but it will create a pre/post game atmosphere unmatched by any other site due to the proximity of the Warehouse District. Plus, the transportation options at the Rapid Park site are just what the city needs given the state of Peak Oil.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 12:34 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 16

I agree with you Lafferty, the Twin Cities media has sucked since the death of Dave Moore. There are no reporters on TV anymore, just fake, plastic talking heads reading teleprompters.

With that said, the Twins deserve some blame too. The media can only report what the Twins release. Well, I won't beat a dead horse here, I think the conclusion is obvious.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 12:50 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 17

I totally agree the Twins lack of updates on the ballpark is why the media keeps reporting old news. To another point related to the ballpark it appears that part of the ballpark will be built under the two bridges joining it.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 2:05 PM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 18

I noticed that the huge crane used to lift the limestone sections into place has moved behind what will be the dugouts. I'm anxious to see them get started on constucting the actual stands/seating areas in the righ field corner. On that note, I wish the upper sections would have been designed with longer stretching cavaliered decks. Like those of Met Stadium. Thus allowing those in the upper decks to be closer to the field. That is my and many peoples biggest gripe about modern ballparks.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 3:28 PM by JohnF Highlight this comment 19

Totally agree about the lack of cantilevered decks JohnF. I mean, just look at how much space appears to be wasted in the renderings that Rick posted. I'm not a fan of the split-upper deck, but at least it can be cantilvered like Busch Stadium III, to bring the common man closer to the action.

Instead, we're getting an upper-deck similar to modern basketball and hockey arenas. (click link)

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 3:50 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 20

Hmmm using The X as an illustration of seating when talking about being far away form the action in my opinion is a bit strange. That building has some of the best seating ever for a sports venue. I've sat on the glass, I've sat all over the lower and upper bowls. I've sat in club seating. I've sat in the last row of the upper deck and there jsut isn't a bad seat in the place. of course the stands are very steep and it took a while to get used to the incline but perhaps this is why we have a split upper deck? Splitting the upper deck should allow them to go more vertical with the stands up there and should help in keeping them closer to the field.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 4:14 PM by moda253 Highlight this comment 21

But if the X actually had a canitleverd upper-deck, the fans up there would feel even closer, and there is enough room to do so without any obstructed views. Just because the views up there are fine, doesn't mean they couldn't easily be improved. Same theory goes for the new Twins park.

You actually lose about 10-12 vertical feet with the split-upper deck.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 4:27 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 22

The other advantage to cantilevered stands which never gets any mention is the fact that it protects those underneath from the elements. I remember watching Twins games with a light drizzle, we would all run up the stairs and sit underneath the 2nd deck. Same with the left field pavillion, many of those lower level seats will be covered by the upper level. The only disadvantage is not being able to see fly balls...Just keep your eyes on the outfielders to see where the ball is traveling.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 4:56 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 23


It's not that simple with cantilevers. Yes, you get closer to the action. But you also have to put in a much steeper rake to the seats. You're also covering the seats below you. Cover too much and you can't track the arc of a fly ball from the lower decks.

In short, if you have a cantilever that's on the same scale as Wrigley, but without the posts, you'll still have a lot of seats where you can't see the track of a fly ball. If you put it higher, then you need to make it much steeper of a seating angle to still see the field - or move it back.

There are all sorts of tradeoffs in that kind of a design.

Posted on September 11, 2008 at 1:03 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 24

Alex, I spend many days and nights at Dodger Stadium, home of amazing cantilevered engineering, so I've had to deal with not tracking a few fly balls before when sitting near the Loge level concourse. To me, I would rather sit closer to homeplate, rather than far away so I can see every single pop up.

Posted on September 11, 2008 at 5:48 PM by Lafferty Highlight this comment 25

That's my point - even the Dodger stadium cantilevers can't replicate the intimacy of the upper decks at places like Wrigley. Dodger stadium has more of this trade off than you realize.

Posted on September 12, 2008 at 1:21 PM by Alex B. Highlight this comment 26

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."

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Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.

Here you can see the real beauty of the Seventh Street side, and get a solid sense of why the overall design really works. The building's purpose is clearly visible, there are numerous connections from inside to outside, scale is nicely mitigated, the stone is attractively used, materials are pleasantly mixed and truly complementary. It's just a winner in so many ways.

This is the trapezoid (for lack of a better name) in right center. Be sure to notice section of seats just below the pavilion and above the fence (which I hadn't noticed before). For those who are interested, what looks like an old-style scoreboard is in fact a high-def video board which will look, at times, like an old-fashioned scoreboard.

September 23, 2007

Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)

Viewed from up Sixth Street, the tip of the canopy looks like the claw of some gigantic crustacean!

The pouring is taking place at the very bottom of this photo.

The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)

Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)

Artist at (very painstaking) work

TC meets the Mayor (Photo by Jeff Ewer)

The Pantheon (with inset of the magic eye)

Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)

Scoreboard in profile against the skyline

Our conductor in Big Lake

This looks up Fifth Street (LRT train visible in the distance). This bridge is also being partially rebuilt (see next photo).

5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, sitting: shade.

A whole bunch of guys working on something.

Noah is checking out the ample leg room and truly exemplary sight lines.

This may look like just some guy (perhaps a spy) headed for the train. But it's actually the Northstar engineer!

Mound from the other side

Hey! That limestone looks familiar!

Look at all that blank space. Canvas! (What should go on those walls? A giant schedule perhaps?)

Look closely at the overhang. You'll see the on the right it is flush with the fence, and then it sticks out farther and farther as you move toward center. More fun for Michael Cuddyer.

The LRT station, sitting in a brand new urban canyon, takes shape.

Miller Park: Gymnasium with skylight (Source: RP)

Looking through the Oliva gate, you can see the outfield stands.

Club Level

Ballark Authority members listen to the LEED introduction


BPM - Ballpark Magic

BRT - Bus Rapid Transit

DSP - Dave St. Peter

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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

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Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia


Book and six ballpark miniatures

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