Northern Exposure (or Lack Thereof)

Share |

Unlike the two parks we covered yesterday, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park and the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays these two facilities keep their roofs open for more than half their teams’ home games.

Outside of that, and the relative proximity between Toronto and Milwaukee, similarities between the two stadiums are minimal. Conceived by different design firms for different purposes during two completely different eras of architectural influences (both inside and outside the sport), they represent perhaps the best (Miller) and worst (Rogers) that retractable roofs have to offer.

Miller Park opened in 2001, replacing nearby County Stadium, an open-air venue which housed Milwaukee -- both Braves and Brewers -- baseball for the previous 48 years.

The new park, designed by the team of NBBJ of Seattle and HKS of Dallas, has a stadium footprint that follows the shape of the baseball diamond, with the two sides of the roof sitting atop each baseline. Each side of the roof arches high above the stadium, the space between filled with glass that allows sunlight into the stadium, supporting the growth of the natural grass field below.

Miller Park is designed to evoke stadiums of yesteryear and sits firmly in the retro-stadium movement, starting with the high-arching roof that cuts an iconic profile matching that of its counterpart at the nearby Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by Santiago Calatrava.

The compact, 41,900-seat stadium has the requisite brick and limestone façade and asymmetrical outfield to suggest it’s a vintage park of the previous century.  The park is also loaded with quirky features, like a multi-story slide beyond the left field wall that Bernie Brewer slides down following Brewer home runs, while a 6th Inning Sausage Race keeps fans happy and cheerful regardless of the score.

It’s clearly worked, as one would have to assume that fans see the park as a massive upgrade over its predecessor given that the small-market stadium appears in the top-10 in attendance every year and was voted Best Stadium in MLB this year in an ESPN poll. This despite a negligible boost in their record between the first 11 after and the last 11 before their move (.474 before vs. .475 after); but even that appears to be trending upwards for a Brewers squad that finished five of the last six years with a winning percentage of .490 or better after nearly a decade and a half of futility.

Perhaps the only aspect of the park that should worry the Brewers going forward is recurring engineering problems with its unorthodox roof, which culminated in 13 million dollar overhaul in 2006, only five years after the stadium opened.

The Rogers Centre is the oldest of the six retractable stadiums in MLB, having opened in 1989 (as the SkyDome), and represents a fundamentally different approach to a retractable facility than its bi-functioning brethren.

What makes the Rogers Centre -- designed by relatively unknown architect Rod Robbie -- distinct is that the roof was built with the intention for it to be closed with the option of opening, instead of opened with the option of closing. Because of this, and the need for flexibility to allow for a variety of events throughout the harsh Toronto winter to be hosted by the arena, the field at the Rogers Centre is synthetic FieldTurf that can easily be removed if necessary. 

That roof, which was designed in four parts, helps create an atmosphere which is decidedly modern but certainly not contemporary, as the entire structure serves as an unsettling throwback to the big, multi-purpose stadiums of a generation ago. Part of the reason for the identity crisis is that the “multi-purpose” aspect of the park goes far beyond any other stadium in North America. The crown jewel is the iconic 348-room hotel -- with its 70 rooms overlooking the playing field -- that forms the northern edge of the building, and houses numerous restaurants as well as a health club with the world’s largest indoor track. 

Likely because of its focus on a variety of different uses, as opposed to the laser-guided focus found in nearly every other park in the league, Rogers Center is not just not the best place to watch a baseball game, its considered by many to be the worst in either league (according to a study by Nate Silver).  From seats in the fifth deck where one literally can’t see the outfield to its lack of a dirt infield, which are all fit inside its cavernous footprint; this 1980s stadium is very much a relic of its decade.  

Further burying the ballpark has been the disappointing play of its main residents, who have not made the playoffs since winning it all in 1993, despite finishing above .500 since opening the park. Whether the lack of playoff appearance are the reason for the low attendance figures or not is up to debate, but what isn’t is that the low attendance figures have likely kept the Jays on the outside looking in when it comes to being able to compete with the big ticket teams in the AL East.

Which most troubling for the Blue Jays (and especially their fans) is that, with the rise of the Rays and O’s, they may end up pushing their record into downright ugly territory. Given their already erratic attendance figures, having to slough through a division with four potential playoff teams, a major drop off in on-the-field performance could lead to a revenue death spiral that could may force Canada’s remaining baseball team to seriously reconsider the sustainability of such an arrangement. 

But, even when taking into account that is a dreadful space to watch a baseball game -- no matter how bad the team playing is -- the idea of the Rogers Centre and its ability to host so many functions both in-season and off is laudable. The fact that the other retractable stadiums in baseball are not more used in the offseason is surprising.  While they are not the ultimate white elephants their NFL counterparts have become, as their relatively short season leave them empty on most days of the year, one would think the investment in a retractable roof would embolden franchises to be more aggressive when scheduling their stadiums.

Matthew Brown is an architect who writes about stadia and sport venues past and present on his own blog and Twitter.

Infographics by Nick Bond
 

Share |

Comments

I am glad you take pride in what you write. This makes you stand way out from many other writers that push poorly written content.蔡小煒律師

That is the excellent mindset, nonetheless is just not help to make every sence whatsoever preaching about that mather. Virtually any method many thanks in addition to i had endeavor to promote your own article in to delicius nevertheless it is apparently a dilemma using your information sites can you please recheck the idea. thanks once more. buy Nembutal for sale

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading.mobdro for kodi

Wow, this is fascinating reading. I am glad I found this and got to read it. Great job on this content. I liked it a lot. Thanks for the great and unique info. is nugenix for real

I was reading some of your content on this website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up. ankle cuffs

Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. نهنگ عنبر

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. nipple clamps

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. nipple clamps

I saw working with exhibit them just as before. Would suggest anything Needed to discover aspiration by impending you might keep with regards to expressing the following marvelous offer.price of brestrogen

Emploi masseuse naturiste paris Tu aimes te balader et ètre mobile sans ètre coincée dans un lieu voici le job masseuse naturiste paris pour toi, facile sympa relax emploi masseuse naturiste paris emploi masseuse body paris.Paris emploi facile pour personne honnète responsible emploi masseuse naturiste paris Tu choisis les lieux de mission contrat indépendent paris emploi Aprends le massage pour le reste de la vie paris emploi masseuse naturiste Job paris mobile sympa relax RDV aller sur emploi masseuse body paris.

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work.
difference between duromine and phentermine

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.High conflict Divorce lawyer

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. https://onmogul.com/stories/li-kung-14-day-liver-detox-review-must-read-this-before-buying

I gotta favorite this website it seems very helpful . bdsm cane

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site. siding repair st. paul

You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. http://www.prunderground.com/mage-omega-review-important-information-released-by-financebulletin/00103043/

That i seen separate your website as long as Referring to finished been told a huge amount of connected with an individual's content. https://onmogul.com/stories/mage-omega-review-bonus-must-read-this-before-buying

Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work. protesis allergan

Hi there! Nice post! Please tell us when I will see a follow up! Hampton bay ceiling fan

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb8AKUbvshc

vex 2 new I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work...

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information... sunny leone hot in bikni

Which i viewed as gone your blog seeing that On the topic of across discovered a lot of connected to a person's articles or blog posts. http://projectwomb.com/blood-balance-formula-nutrition-hacks/

Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. voyance en ligne

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.lucky patcher ios

There are specific dissertation online sites over the internet if you get hold of obviously announced as part of your webpage. ชุดตรวจ HIV

I'm keen a put up. It happens to be fantastic to ascertain most people verbalize out of your spirit not to mention ability on that fundamental topic area are generally comfortably found. ideas viewpoint online site. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anlya420eQk

This can be in addition a great article i genuinely liked looking at. It's not at all every day i contain the probability to view a thing. http://projectwomb.com/activox-daily-review/

Outstanding internet site you might have the following, a great deal great details!.. http://healthtrendz.co/vedda-blood-sugar-remedy/

Great things you’ve always shared with us. Just keep writing this kind of posts.The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be used for studies.Thanksinformatica online training

Document literally uncover a web site just for executing checks also Document literally at this moment choose look and feel so asked. Document literally got attainable a task to undertake any for use on your specialized composing business venture also Shoot preventing individuals. Its possible at this moment, with all the approach most people blessed most people, I'll go ahead and test it out. what makes ice maker quit working

My partner and i examine your website on what to publish the particular and also My partner and i entirely adored that! After all, my own educators have got discussed the method if you ask me adequate instances yet no-one provides caused it to be appear since fantastic when you. You truly ensure it is appear to be a great action to take! I’m creating my own, personal dissertations coming from the following about. https://onmogul.com/stories/activox-daily-review-should-you-really-buy-it

Coaching is definitely a sticky topic area. But, continues associated with the prominent articles our instance. Company Registration

That will work short-term, yet it’s no handy long-term resolution for the purpose of gents who wish to often be utilizing this type of 1 different gal many people can’t give up looking at. free youtube subscribers | free youtube views

Your site is excellent, top quality function... I am certain numerous may trust me personally even though they don't take time to let you know. allcast app

Looking any sort of blog page will make some people solely choose to create a lot more. I did so an incredible that i was eye-catching articles and other content in. Application in all probability engaged in for ones rate even so it’s superb. I just sometimes dispatch most people. apple cider vinegar side effects

I just now identified applying indicate the item all over again. Advocate whatsoever I need to to make sure anticipation as a result of honest you will keep on being for the purpose of featuring that excellent organize. http://projectwomb.com/vedda-blood-sugar-remedy/

Make sure you carry on this particular excellent function as well as We anticipate much more of the amazing websites. urgent fungus destroyer

I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy.kik download

Good write-up i must claim in addition to appreciate it with the facts. Knowledge is really a sticky theme. Even so, is one of many foremost issues your time period. When i get pleasure from ones write-up in addition to count on far more.
Juarez

It would be an interesting time to be in the Optical industry, I would think. I've been planning to get a pair of Ronsir's or something similar for over a year, hopefully they'll work out with my prescription.

Best Hunting Knives

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me.voyance gratuite telephone

Fantastic submit i need to point out and also thank you for your details. Schooling is surely a sticky subject matter. Nonetheless, remains on the list of major subject areas individuals moment. My partner and i enjoy the submit and also enjoy a lot more.weight loss pills walmart

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include.best skin whitening cream in the world

Wonderful article i've got to declare along with cheers to the data. Education and learning is undoubtedly a sticky issue. On the other hand, remains to be one of several primary matters of our own occasion. My spouse and i take pleasure in your current article along with expect additional. Best 3 day detox cleanse

Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work.freedom apk free download

Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. venta de bancas

There are numerous dissertation web sites on the web as you acquire seemingly noted in the internet site. voyance tel

Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. drug and alcohol rehab in Colorado

Excellent website combined with outstanding top quality products and also I’m positive this will be tremendously beneficial. Steel Fence