When I think about nearly decade-long battle to get Miller Park rolling into construction and the bickering of taxpayers about the one-tenth sales tax that will continue until it’s all paid for, I ask myself: “Was it worth it?” When I bought my first new car, the stadium tax cost me about $75.
And then I answer myself: “Abso-fucking-lutely.”
As I’ve said before, Miller Park is the Jay-Z’s Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé of baseball stadiums (“kick back in the ’bach / get the Phantom to drop / bass blaring out of my system, that’s how I detox.” … Other lyrics called to mind are the Clipse’s “When was the last time” when Pusha T comes in with “Top down, chrome spinnin’”). Our stadium is a fucking convertible.
This is one of the reason we love it so much and make tiny functional effigies out of it, like Tim Kaebisch’s series of Lego Miller Parks. But why, after several home stands, nice days and a month and a half of baseball has the roof not been open for a game?
This may be the first time I’m presenting you with some actual new information. The other day I covered a meeting where the director of the stadium district, Michael Duckett, was speaking. This is from my story:
Duckett explained the home team is allowed to have the roof in the state it wants at the beginning of the game and the umpire has the final say once the game begins. The Brewers organization uses a guideline of mid-50s-degree temperatures and rising with no threat of rain as a rough indicator of when to leave the roof open, and a mid-50s-degree temperature and falling with a possible threat of rain as sign of when to close it, Duckett said. But more fans complain about being too cold than too hot, he said.
“They get more complaints about fans who are cold than when most of us are saying ‘Gee, it’s a nice night; I wonder why they don’t have the roof open,” Duckett said. He added stadium district staff has heard rumors the Brewers ballplayers prefer the roof closed.
The obvious benefit of the retractable roof adds to the appeals of the pre-established tailgating culture for Wisconsin residents living outside of Milwaukee to attend games because they don’t have to worry about rain-outs, rain delays or sitting through frigid games, Duckett said.
“The roof tells them the game will be on time,” Duckett said.
It’s like I told a friend recently…
Instead of thinking “the sun will come out tomorrow,” I think “maybe we’ll have the roof open tomorrow.”