Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals Park: Roof Added a Good Idea?


The Washington Nationals have proposed an idea to the Mayor of Washington D.C., Vincent Gray, that the ball park needs a retractable roof because of rain delays. The Mayor according to the Washington Post, has declined and said the meeting “lasted 15 minutes”. The Mariners have a retractable roof on their ball park, but come on, it’s Seattle, Washington, it rains a ton there. That doesn’t give Washington D.C. the same effect just because of the similar names.

So I have got to thinking, is this a good idea for the Nationals in the long run?

I will start out with a huge no. The roof would cost tax payers upwards of $300 million and would only be used maybe 20 times a year? That isn’t worth it in my mind.

In data provided by the MLB, the Nationals have had 52 delays and or postponements since 2008. The entire MLB collected 802 delays or postponements in that same time frame. That averages out to about 27 per team over that time frame. The Nats are almost double that amount.

That being said I still don’t see it being that big of an issue to add a roof on the ball park. It first takes away from the atmosphere of the game. Baseball is played outside, not in domes. We have seen how poor attendance has been at Tropicana Field, they play in a dome. That doesn’t mean it will translate, but the atmosphere of a baseball game is one in itself.

The Nationals may have some delays, but averaging about six over a nine month span, when no one can control the weather, isn’t that big of an issue to me. The bigger issue that I see is the drainage system. Maybe the owners should work on putting a better system in to no have as many postponements. Delay’s happen, they happen everywhere. Postponements are the issue that has to stop if it can be stopped, not delay’s.

Use the comment section to have your say on whether a roof is a good idea at Nationals Park or not. We would like to see what other fans have to say about this issue.

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Tags: Nationals Park Washington Nationals

  • HalfSt

    I haven’t posted much, because Disqus has been such a pain. However, I figured it out because I like the topic and want to support you in your writing. I would look at the numbers again if you have them for every team, and ignore the ones for cities that never have rain, like LA and Phoenix. I bet that the Nats’ numbers would look a little better after taking out those 3 teams, and even better if you take out the teams that don’t have rain delays because of domed stadiums (wait- are there any left?)
    Keep writing, and I will keep reading.

    • Ryan Ritchey

      yeah I did forget to take those into account. That is a very good point. It’s just the cost is excessive for the amount of time that the Nats’ would really use it, in my opinion. $300 million is a little much for my liking. Thanks for reading!

  • Darlene Langley

    I wouldn’t mind a retractable roof if it was used judiciously–for rain or excessive cold or excessive heat. Games at Nats Park in April can be miserable on 45 degree days. Close the roof and let the body heat do its thing. Same thing in the summer. Once the temp goes over 90 degrees it is miserable in the stands in the sun. A retractable roof could provide shade for the fans. The other time it might help is for those afternoon games when the sun is creating those silly shadows across the infield. Closing the roof could eliminate those.

    All I know is Strasburg doesn’t pitch well in excessive heat. Might be worth doing just to protect him from too much sun.