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):
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:
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!
"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Bench seating? (Click to see hi-res version.)
Section 237, Row 15 (top of the Trap)
The lone light standard and one of those "entry beacons."
Look beyond the gigantic hand (a hounds tooth jacket? really?) and you'll get a glimpse of the main grandstand configuration. The two (or is it three?) levels of suites are visible, as is the design of the so-called "split upper deck," and the extensive use of limestone for decorative accents. Let's hope these little touches don't get cut as costs increase, because they make a nice tie-in from the outside of the park to the inside. Of most interest to me is the way that the very best seats are physically separated from all the rest of the seats by that limestone. There will be virtually no way to sneak into these seats. On one level, that's a somewhat sad design feature...
Which way to the skyway? Really??
Let's be honest and say that this promenade, which will face the HERC plant, won't be the most exciting part of the streetscape. It has to be provided for circulation reasons, but there won't be much to see unless vendors and other attractions take root here.
Another view of the escalator, which apparently comes preassembled!
The county of my birth!
Stay warm while buying tickets.
Millers fans leaving Nicollet Park after a game in 1923, where a trolley was waiting. (Click to enlarge.)
Catwalks provide access to the View Level seats (from the Ballpark Authority July update)
The wooden louvers are in on Fifth Street
Killebrew taught, "Always make your autograph legible, boys."
The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction
8:02 PM It's at peak, affecting mostly the upper deck.
That's Bert back at the Met on Photo Day, September 15, 1974.
A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)
The base of the old Met Stadium flagpole. (The plaque refers to the "Flame of Freedom" and not the origin of the pole.)
A photo taken as my meter ran out.
A peek through a tiny gate.
Dedicated closed-captioning ribbon board
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
This is what I was working on while my photo was taken (click to see a VERY BIG version).