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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Puckett atrium menu part 2 (Those prices match elsewhere in the ballpark.)
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
The Northstar station at night
Noah is checking out the ample leg room and truly exemplary sight lines.
Puckett atrium menu part 1
This maze of scaffolding is something you'll probably never see again.
Stay warm while buying tickets.
Train. (What is it about baseball and trains?)
Seventh Street windows
The start of the VIP entrance and loading dock.
Another deck to come...
The heretofore unseen north facade (click to enlarge). Does it look like a ballpark? And what's with the bamboo?
An escalator was going in the day I was there.
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
A Hrbek tribute wall marks the end of the Carew side of the club
Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.
Just to the right, more ticket machines. These things are everywhere.
Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.
Plaza overview from the A ramp
(Click to enlarge.)
Working on the connecting LRT tracks (this view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown.)
An arch under construction.
Uh oh. Schizophrenia.
Outside, lots of window space
This is the area above the pro shop, with some new support structure
The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!