COMMENTARY | It feels like just yesterday the Milwaukee Brewers walked out the doors of old County Stadium for the final time, but it turns out that was 13 years ago.
Boy, how time flies.
Since the opening of Miller Park in 2001 -- which was delayed one year by a horrific accident that took the lives of three construction workers -- nine new ballparks have gone up. The real head-scratcher is how only one of these stadiums chose to build a retractable roof, especially considering how six of them are in cold-weather cities.
But we digress. This is about the beautiful Miller Park and breaking down what makes it a modern marvel while nitpicking what makes it a tad disappointing at the same time.
The Good: The Retractable Roof
For as terrible as the weather can be in Wisconsin toward the beginning and at the end of baseball season, it's nice to know you will always be warm and cozy inside the confines of Miller Park. Not only that, but you can be assured that baseball will go on despite rain, sleet or snow.
It's the only fan-shaped convertible roof and one of only six retractable roofs in Major League Baseball. Every time you walk in the stadium, it's a truly overwhelming feeling when you look up and gaze at the spectacle that is Miller Park's crown.
The Bad: An Overuse of Said Retractable Roof
We get it, Miller Park. It's nice to have a roof every now and then to ensure that the game will go on as scheduled. But baseball is played in the summer, and when people head to the ballpark to take in a game, they don't want to feel trapped inside a building when it's 65 degrees and pleasant outside.
So the temperature might drop to the 50s by the late innings. That's what jackets are for -- a sacrifice just about anyone would be willing to make to keep the roof open. Unfortunately, Miller Park doesn't understand this concept, and far too often the roof is shut on a perfect summer day. Sadness.
The Ugly: The Bleachers
Is there a better place to take in a ball game than in the bleachers? OK, behind home plate for those fortunate enough to get their hands on such gems, but for fans simply looking to let loose and have a good time, there's nothing better than joining the ranks of the bleacher creatures.
But courtesy of the Miller Lite Beerpen in right, the Toyota Territory in right-center and Friday's Front Row in left, bleacher seats are not only pushed back but hard to come by. Fans looking to snag a home run are in for a rude awakening, as big flies more often than not fall short of the bleachers or are hit to unoccupied areas.
But, hey, other than that, Miller Park is a pretty sweet place to take in some baseball.
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who contains an unhealthy amount of knowledge about Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline and as a featured columnist among other sites and publications.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_.
- Sports & Recreation
- Miller Park
- Milwaukee Brewers
- retractable roof