Do you hate your fans? Build a dome. The sun/cold can straight up ruin a game. Tickets, parking, concession, all that ain’t cheap. You’re killing me already. So it’s $200 dollars to sit in discomfort for 3 hours? Are you trying to make me go to Buffalo Wild Wings? Owners, if you are drawing plans for a new home then think of us, the fans. You say you love us, if that’s true then put a roof on it.
I appreciate the old gridiron nonsense of yesteryear but this is a new game. It’s built for speed and scoring. The rules committee saw to that. So we all need to adjust. And that includes the majority shareholders. There are some great outdoor stadiums and I’m not saying to tear them down, but if we have a chance to create a new one then I think we really have to consider the experience we are providing. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Super Bowl is normally held somewhere warm or at an arena with a dome. The league knows they don’t want to punish the people who can afford a ticket for the big game. I mean would you pay $5,000 to sit outside at Lambeau in February? The only outdoor/cold Super Bowl host I can think of was in 2014 at the new (at the time) Giants/Jets’ home (in New Jersey) MetLife Stadium.
Climate change is real. I know that might me hard to hear (or read) but it is the truth. The winters are going to be worse. And that’s when we have our playoffs, so we need to head indoors. Build a real roof and let’s climate control our Sundays. I know some fans will read this and say “I tough it out for my team” and I love that spirit but we know fans are crazy and will do insane things for the team. I’m just saying it shouldn’t have to be something we “tough out,” not anymore. Not in the billion dollar NFL era. Stadiums have fancy foods, craft beers on tap, huge HD jumbotrons and outrageous StubHub prices. None of that pairs well with thermal underwear and two sets of gloves, so you don’t get frostbite.
Looking around the NFL, the divisions that all have outdoor facilities are the AFC North (Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh) the AFC East (Buffalo, Miami, New York Jets, New England) and the AFC West (Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego) while the NFC divisions all have at least one indoor arena. The Arizona Cardinals have a very cool home at the University of Phoenix Stadium because the roof is retractable and has a roll-in natural grass playing surface. This is the modern engineering we need. The folks in the desert know that their weather is mostly great but they wanted the flexibility to shut the roof and crank the AC. Hats off to that. And lord knows we need it, fellow SBS staffer Michael got heat stroke outside tailgating once and would have died if not for the cool, indoor conditions.
We’ve had some great times in some cold ass games, the Brady “tuck rule” versus Oakland in the snow or famous “Ice Bowl” AKA the 1967 NFL Championship game where Lombardi’s Packers edged the Cowboys in -15 degree temperatures. But it’s time to warm up to the new reality. The game is becoming a premium viewing experience and dealing with weather is for farmers. I’m proud to say the Lions have always rocked a dome (Ford Field, Pontiac Silverdome) in my lifetime. It’s the one thing that the organization has done right. Now we just need some cheerleaders and then maybe we can win a playoff game, but that’s another topic altogether.
So NFL owners, please hear my totally original words: if you build it, they will come. And you can charge more and they will pay.
Dome mention it.