April 12, 2004
Couple you may have missed
I know, I know. I've missed a couple of stadium related articles recently. Actually, I haven't missed them, I've just kind of sat on them. I gotta tell you, I am more interested in articles with real news about stadiums, especially coming out of the legislature. Everything else is just gravy.
So, the first article is one from the Pioneer Press called Ballfield backers want cover. I think this is the 733rd time an article on this topic has been written. It is worth repeating though. The Twins want a roof. It is important from a money point of view and a fan point of view. More fans, especially out-state fans (sorry Curt), will buy tickets if they know the game won't be rained out:
"When the Twins played at the open-air Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, the most people they drew in a regular season was 1.5 million in 1965 — when the team played in the World Series — and 1967.
In the Metrodome in 1988, the year after the Twins won the World Series, the team drew 3 million, making it the first American League team to attract that many spectators."
I think it is a given that if the Twins build a new ballpark, and have a winning team, they will draw tons of fans regardless of having a roof or not. The question is, can they draw enough fans in the so-so years without a roof? That is a tough question to answer. Personally, I want a roof, but the main reason for building a ballpark with a roof, weather, is a little shaky considering this data:
"Other cities with roofless ballparks actually have comparable weather. Baseball season rainfall is 20.7 inches in the Twin Cities, 22.1 inches in Chicago and 20 inches in Boston. As for cold, the Twin Cities' daily mean temperature in April, for example, is 46.6 degrees, compared with 48.3 in Boston — not much difference."
Those are some interesting stats, but the fact of the matter is Minnesota does not have the same type of fan base that Boston has. We are pansies when it comes to inclement weather. We take pride in gutting out a Minnesota winter, but there is no way we sit in a freezing, rainy ballpark when we could watch the game on TV. We built the Metrodome, for goodness sake, and brought football indoors and our toughness has been going downhill ever since. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the day they opened the Metrodome every male in Minnesota turned in his penis. Until the Vikings start playing outside again every man in Minnesota is a card carrying member of the National Organization for Women.
I really don't know where I am going with this, but I'll take a retractable roof for baseball. I mean, you can't play baseball in the rain. As far as football goes, it has got to be played outdoors. I would grudgingly take a retractable roof on a football stadium, but I'd prefer one completely exposed to the elements.
On to the second article, Study: Pro teams can pay more for their own stadiums. Apparently a couple of professors at the University of Dayton have published a study that "claims that Major League Baseball teams can increase revenues enough in new stadiums to pay off the cost of their buildings within 12 years without public aid." You know what? This may shock some of you, but they are probably right. Not 100% right, but I have no doubt owners can pony up more money than they claim to be able to. That is what I hope both the legislature and the teams take from this study. I hope the legislature sticks to its guns and demands 1/3 from each team, and I also hope that the teams realize that the more studies that come out like this the harder it will be to get any public subsidies at all. It is time for a deal. Red and Carl had better not monkey with the chance they have this year. I can't believe that Pawlenty is showing them so much love, or that he will have the stomach to do it again if his deal falls through this year. Anyway, your comments are welcome.
Posted by snackeru at April 12, 2004 11:13 PM | Stadiums
As a former resident of out-state Minnesota, I can testify that you are right on about the roof. My family used to come down for games at least once a year, and I don't know if we would have done this with the possibility of a rain-out. A retractable roof would be the perfect solution, as it could be open on sunny days and closed on rainy ones. Of course, the retractable roof in Milwaukee hasn't worked, and the Blue Jays seem to always have theirs closed no matter the weather. I also thought it was interesting that Pohlad's contribution might be limited to $100 million. I do not know how he will react to being asked to pay for one-third of the cost. I suppose that if he doesn't like it, he'll just take Bud's money and contract the team in 2006.
Posted by: Curt at April 13, 2004 9:26 AM
Do you really think Pawlenty is going to let the teams get away with less than 1/3? What does everyone think of this? Personally I don't think these deals go anywhere unless the teams agree to 1/3. If they don't, we may be in for a long, slow death march for both the Twins and Vikings.
Posted by: Shane at April 13, 2004 2:13 PM
Hey now, Miller Park kicks the Metrodome's butt. There is only a problem when it rains with high winds, otherwise it is outstanding.
Shane, sorry to hear about your penis. I, on the other hand am from Wisconsin and we have Lambeau, the greatest outdoor stadium there is. Using your comparison of indoor and outdoor stadiums, I rest my case on MY manhood.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at April 13, 2004 2:17 PM