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The Astros want to open their roof more often

Jan 1, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

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It’s gross in Houston a lot of the time. As such, the Astros only had their roof open at Minute Maid Park 14 of 81 home games last year. They’d like to open it more, reports Brian McTaggart of Specifically, they’d like to be able to open it up mid-game, after the sun goes down and it cools off a tad. Which is something they used to do but ceased doing in 2005 for some reason.

What seems nuts to me are the listed parameters for when the roof can and can’t be open there:

Currently, the roof is closed for the threat of rain, threat of sustained winds above 30 mph, temperatures below 65 degrees for a night game and air temperature or heat-index readings above 88 degrees for a night game or 84 for a day game — which just about covers late April through the end of the season.

I get the rain, wind and heat, but … below 65 degrees? I know Texans don’t do cold very well but, man, that seems particularly weak.

  1. Ayana Rashed - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Reblogged this on Imarashed.

    • johnnysoda - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:03 PM

  2. cackalackyank - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Whoever paid for that retractable roof is not getting their money’s worth. The parameters quoted do not seem like the big problem. The problem is the wanting to open the roof after games have started thing. The roof taking 13 minutes to operate, the length of the inning switch, and the MLB rule regarding use only between innings seems to be the sticking point. Who made the quoted parameters is what I am curious about, and are they the same in Seattle and Toronto?

  3. buddydeath - Jan 1, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Maybe they will rid the area of mosquitos. I have a place a block away. Freaking Mosquitos everywhere and homeless. No one goes to the games anyway.
    The retractable roof keeps real grass growing for the Astros. I honestly believe the Sugarland Skeeters got a total of more fans come see them the past two years.

    • stex52 - Jan 1, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      For the moment I think the Skeeters are drawing better. Hopefully the Astros are a tad more competitive in 2014.

      Nice location, Buddy. There’s a lot to be said for a downtown address.

      I would also like to see the roof open more. For several years they would open it about the sixth inning. Seemed to work pretty well. What I remember about 2005 was the big stink with the league during the World Series that they were opening and closing the roof to favor their own batters.(?!!!) A bunch of garbage. It takes all that time to open and close and both teams have the same conditions. But it seemed like the Astros stopped opening the roof so much after that.

  4. hojo20 - Jan 1, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    84 during the day is not too hot, it’s called summer.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      84 degrees in Houston is called Fall :)

      • mldewey - Jan 2, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        or Spring.

  5. kelshannon19 - Jan 1, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    YES. Minute Maid Park when the roof is open is absolutely beautiful.

  6. banksatdixie - Jan 1, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Open the roof then….

  7. kruegere - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    I read somewhere that opening/closing a retractable roof on a stadium costs some sort of astronomical amount of money. I don’t have the figures, but might this be why they don’t open or close it at will?

    • forsch31 - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:45 PM

      Well, it takes about 10 minutes for the roof to open, so whatever cost is encurred has to be in power

    • James McPherson - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Safeco’s roof isn’t as extensive as some, but when I took a stadium tour there a few years ago we were surprised to learn that the cost to open or close the roof was less than what we had paid for parking that day. I can’t remember the amount, but it wasn’t much.

      And as a long-suffering Mariner fan, let me say how happy we are that the Astros joined our division so we’d stop finishing in last place. :-)

      • joenash72 - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:30 AM

        Another M’s fan here. Have been at games where they close the roof when it starts to rain, they just keep playing, never seems to be a problem. I thought I read once that cost $1000’s in electricity to open/close, but I’m guessing you didn’t pay $1000’s to park, so I must be misremembering….

        Watching the roof move has been one of the highlights of a game at Safeco. Hoping Cano helps change that 😉

      • dcarroll73 - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:19 AM

        joenash, maybe seeing Cano “running” out a groundout will be the highlight – it probably takes longer than opening the roof.

  8. blazertop - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    The only city with TWO retractable roof stadiums and they are both closed 95% of the time. Waste of money.

    • mybrunoblog - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      Great point. During the stadium building boom of the 1990s and 2000’s it seemed like every team in MLB and the NFL wanted a retractable roof. The teams that got them seem to hardly ever use them. Wtf? Seems like a huge waste of money.

      • cackalackyank - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:17 AM

        I am thinking they are going to be wishing that the New Meadowlands stadium had a retractable roof though, come the Super Bowl. It just makes no sense as you say. Where there might be need, there isn’t one.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Your missing the point – usage is irrelevant.

        You can’t have a retractable roof without a retractable roof. So if they built it without a retractable roof, they would have no retractable roof. And without a retractable roof, you would either have a roof that is not retractable, or an open stadium that has no roof – retractable or otherwise. The only fix is to have a retractable roof.

        This message has been brought to you by the American Association of Builders and Contractors

  9. Minoring In Baseball - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    They need to just move back to the Astrodome.

  10. joeflaccosunibrow - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Houston seems like a bunch of pussies

    • jeffa43 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:50 AM

      Loser Raven fans even troll Astro comments…

      Steelers finish ahead of Baltimore even after a 0-4 start, you know how?

      Flaccos unibrow threw more pics than anyone, had the lowest qb rating in football. Time to shut it.
      You don’t see the Astros near dominating decade to come, just as you think Flaccid is worth 120mil… Beat it Raven troll!

      • pastabelly - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:09 AM

        Flacco is more overpaid than Dan Uggla.

      • stex52 - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:22 AM

        Hey Jeff. Let the troll do the thing by himself. He needs to have some fun. Junior High will be starting again in a week or so and he’s stuck back in class.

      • joeflaccosunibrow - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        Apparently you were in the “Lice Check” line in school when they went over SARCASM.

  11. Gordon - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    This is like when I upgraded to a moonroof on my car in Chicago. I soon realized what an idiotic move that was. It’s usually too hot/muggy/rainy in the summer, & the rest of the year is winter. You get to use it maybe 5 days a year.

  12. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    First reaction: Wow, it was only opened 14 days?

    Reaction after reading criteria: Wow, they found 14 days in which it could be opened?

    They need to have a talk with Kirk Gibson, Baseball isn’t about climate control!

  13. dowhatifeellike - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    They won’t open the roof if it drops below 65 at night? These must be the same people who put on full winter gear to go to a hockey game.

    • stex52 - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Well, actually, it won’t get to below 65 at night until mid-October, so that is kind of meaningless as a rule. MAYBE a little in April and early May.

  14. billyboots - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Minute Maid Park just tastes bad in my mouth. It will always be Enron Field in my heart.

    • stex52 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      I never cared much for “Minute Maid” myself. But “Enron” is pure poison in the Houston area.

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