Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Safeco Field roof likely closed for opener, but rainy M's games remain rare

In what appears to be quite the poor timing by Mother Nature, a weak and brief cold front will sweep through Seattle Tuesday evening and is expected to require the roof to be closed at Safeco Field for the Mariners' home opener.

But while you might think the roof gets quite a workout through the season in soggy Seattle, did you know Safeco Field's retractable roof is the least used in baseball?
According to Rebecca Hale, the Seattle Mariners Director of Public Information, the roof is used on average just under 19 times per season -- or about 23 percent.
And here is how that compares to other parks: 

Arizona isn't listed because their situation is unique, mainly closing nightly for excessive heat but they can essentially open windows. Houston and Miami also close frequently for heat and humidity comfort.

Toronto and Milwaukee are perhaps our best comparisons although Milwaukee sometimes has to close for chilly weather. Of course, when extended, Safeco's roof is just a covering and doesn't seal the stadium so temperature has no effect on a decision to close or open the roof in Seattle. 

Now, how about something even more surprising -- that 23 percent roof closure rate? It's slightly more frequent than the number of times it's rained at CenturyLink Field for regular season Seahawks games in the heart of our soggy autumn and winter! (21 rainy days during 96 regular season home games or about 22 percent). 

As for this week, it appears the Safeco roof statistic will hold true as the next four home games should eke by dry enough to have the roof open (Friday is a bit of a wild card but should hold.)

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