In a news conference held in the outfield of Al Lang Field, team officials, Florida governor Charlie Crist, and MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy praised the design of the state-of-the-art ballpark, which will include a unique retractable roof made of a weatherproof fabric that will be pulled along cables suspended between arches on one end and a central mast structure on the other . . .
. . .The roof, likened to a giant sail, will produce an umbrella effect, retaining the open-air feel. Rays officials, working with HOK Sport architects, deemed a traditional retractable roof impractical because of the small site and undesirable, since it would block the water views. The design calls for climate-cooling techniques that will lower temperatures 8-10 degrees. Those include keeping the "sail" up during the days before games. Michael Kalt, the Rays senior vice president of development and business affairs, said the process should at least make the mid-summer temperature inside the stadium comparable to those in Baltimore, Kansas City, and St. Louis.
Kind of a neat idea until you realize that mid-summer temperatures in Baltimore, Kansas City, and St. Louis aren't exactly something worth aspiring to. Maybe instead of a sail they should use those long plastic flaps you see over the open back door of reefer trucks and just plunk an a/c unit on the joint.
What does the public think of it all? The Tampa Tribune asked folks hanging around after the unveiling. St. Pete resident Nicole Kelly is obviously concerned about the dubious funding scheme and likelihood that far more taxpayer dollars will ultimately have to be plowed into the project when it is all said and done:
"I think it would be pretty cool to see a home run go into the water," she
Or maybe not.