Ford Field Could Add Retractable Roof To Boost MLS Bid
Lions President Rod Wood said that he and other team execs are "looking into a retractable roof" for Ford Field to "help bring" an MLS team to Detroit, according to George Stoia of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. Wood, appearing yesterday on Detroit-based WJR-AM, said, "It's something we're looking at. We're going to have a meeting later this week. It's been an interesting process working with [Quicken Loans Founder & Chair] Dan (Gilbert) and [Pistons Owner] Tom Gores and their teams, and [Pistons Vice Chair] Arn Tellem is pretty much leading this pitch with MLS." Wood said building another stadium "makes no sense with the three that we have." Wood: "There's a [purist] wing in the MLS and they like to play on grass, they like to play outside." He said that adding a retractable roof "would be easy." Wood: "We'll figure out who's going to pay for it after we figure out the cost. ... Retractable roofs are expensive, so we'll see what the cost comes in at and go from there" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/17). A Lions spokesperson said that Wood "estimated the cost at tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars." In Detroit, Gregg Krupa notes Lions Owner & Chair Martha Firestone Ford is "working with" Gilbert and Gores in a "combined bid for an MLS franchise." The retractable roof would "allow the Lions to play home games outdoors for the first time since they left Tiger Stadium," where they played from '38-74 (DETROIT NEWS, 7/17).