Astros Pushing To Have Retractable Roof Open For More Games In '14
Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan said that he plans to talk to MLB officials at this month's quarterly Owners Meetings "about the possibility of once again opening" Minute Maid Park's roof during games after the practice was discontinued for unknown reasons in '05, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. The Astros "have surveyed fans heavily, and Ryan said having more games under the stars is a priority for them." The roof last season "was open for only 14 of the team's 81 regular-season home games -- and most of those were in April." The roof currently is "closed for the threat of rain, threat of sustained winds above 30 mph, temperatures below 65 degrees for a night game and air temperature or heat-index readings above 88 degrees for a night game or 84 for a day game -- which just about covers late April through the end of the season." MLB rules stipulate that the decision to open a roof "rests solely with the home team, and if a game begins with the roof open, it shall be closed only because of weather." Minute Maid Park's retractable roof "takes 13 minutes to open, but MLB rules say the roof can only be opened between innings -- which is less than three minutes." This is a "sticking point." Ryan also said that the opposing manager "would have to agree to opening of the roof" (MLB.com, 1/1).