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Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Wonder If It Will Work

The Tampa Bay Rays want a new stadium. Even though the Rays have a winning record this year, attendance is dismal.

The team is proposing a 34,000 seat waterfront ballpark. Here's what makes it unique. It will have a fabric, retractable, sail-like roof. The sail would protect fans from the rain and the blazing Florida sun. It could be extended in less than ten minutes.

This is the view without the sail.
And, this is the view with the sail extended over the stadium.

At first, I was concerned players wouldn't be able to pick up fly balls under the white sail, but a little more research showed the sail would only cover the stands-- not the field. Total price tag for the project is $450 million. Voters still have to give their approval. If everything goes according to plan, the stadium in Tampa could be open for the 2012 season.

The design intrigues me. If it works, and if could be done within a reasonable cost, I can see sail topped stadiums in a lot of other places.