(Photo: County Stadium had lots of bad-weather days, but the Brewers now elect to remove the outside world entirely for most games on the schedule.)
On the Brewers’ website the team says it closes Miller Park’s roof unless it’s expected to be above 60 degrees for the duration of the game. Broadcaster Brian Anderson alluded to a magic number of 65 degrees at the beginning of Tuesday’s broadcast, which featured a shot of the roof shutting out a blue, rainless sky a few minutes before first pitch. Panels were also closed. Hatches presumably were battened.
The team says it wants as many fans as possible to be comfortable, and Tuesday’s temperatures dipped from 61 into the 50s for the game. So, OK, the Brewers were operating by their stated policy.
Why they also must close the panels remains unclear. What if they just closed the panels to prevent cool air from directly circulating in but kept the roof open? It’s unknown exactly how well Miller Park cools off or heats up compared to the outside temperature. The stadium sure does become a sweat lodge in feverish summer heat, but one would think Miller Park’s massive walls would shield fans from a cool breeze on a night of temperatures in the 50s.
I understand the Brewers want to keep fans satisfied and comfortable. But a lot of fans want to see the sky at the ballpark. They want the feeling of moving air. According to the “fan surveys” referenced by the team, however, most fans would prefer to wear T-shirts regardless of the weather and to witness indoor baseball instead.
We shall see in the coming days whether it gets warm enough for the Brewers to keep the roof open. For the time being, though, expect indoor baseball as your default setting in Milwaukee. There just aren’t enough 70+ degree days on the calendar in Wisconsin to prevent most of the team’s home schedule from being played in sterile conditions. Under the current policy, that is.
For a state whose hearty sports fans brave absolutely any kind of insane adversity to watch the Packers, it’s a bit of a letdown. Maybe someday Milwaukee will be able to leave roof-ball behind.