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Rain, Sleet, or Snow: The Case for No Roof at Target Field

MINNESOTA, MN - APRIL 12: Carl Pavano #48 of the Minnesota Twins throws the first pitch in the first inning against Marco Scutaro #16 of the Boston Red Sox during the Twins home opener at Target Field on April 12, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Tom ShefchikContributor IDecember 20, 2016

Friday, May 7 marked the first weather delay in Target Field history, as well as the first time in 30 years a Twins home game was delayed due to the elements.

This gives everyone who was in the retractable roof camp a reason to crow again for the first time since the stadium opened.

There was much hand-wringing when the final plans for the park were announced, and a roof was not part of the equation.

Don't get me wrong, I understand. Minneapolis has some of the least predictable early- and late-season weather in any Major League city. Everyone remembers the nightmare the weather caused in Philly during the World Series two years ago, and people fear the same issues in Minnesota, which is of course possible.

Clearly there would have been major benefits to having a retractable roof on Target Field. No missed games, no headaches for people who get a rain check instead of a game, and constant conditions all season. I feel the benefits outweigh the negatives though.

The most obvious reason is the cost. It would have been an additional $100 million to add the roof. Given that, I think Dick Bremer, the Twins television play-by-play man, gave the best reason we are better off without the roof.

There are plenty of great parks with retractable roofs: Miller Park , Minute Maid Park , Safeco Field , and others. These parks are beautiful, but all have one glaring issue as far as I, and Dick, am concerned.

It is impossible to have a retractable roof without either having an enormous superstructure or being mostly enclosed by the walls on all sides. That obstructs views outside the parks, creates odd shadows during the day, and just is not pleasing to the eye.

Target Field's greatest charm is how open it is. The views of downtown are spectacular, and the lack of a roof allowed them to have a really unique and attractive seating situation in the outfield.

Of course there will be rain-outs and snow-outs. The fans from Minnesota can easily handle less-than-ideal weather though. They did for decades in Metropolitan Stadium, and will do so for decades more at Target Field. If you ask me, the occasional weather delay is well worth it to have one of the most stunning parks in baseball.

Tom Shefchik is a frequent contributor to Bleacher Report. He also maintains a blog here  and can be followed on Twitter here .

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