M Baseball to get an HD Video Scoreboard EDIT: Retractable roof?

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on January 10th, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Just saw this picture tweeted out by @umichbaseball on twitter. Great and much needed addition. Hopefullu we see one at Alumni Field as well. I like the style of the venue name on the top of the screens (Yost, Crisler etc.)



January 10th, 2013 at 9:13 PM ^

I heard they are also going to be putting up a dome for the winter months which will allow team to basically play year round.  The source is the father of a current high school junior who Michigan is looking at.


January 11th, 2013 at 4:34 PM ^

There are a few facilities across the country that put up temporary bubbles for the winter (you see this at driving ranges, but there are a few baseball complexes that do it too.) The main issue is achieving sufficient height to play a regulation game.

The biggest challenge that Michigan would have is actually placing the bubble -- you need to anchor it outside the perimeter of the field, and because of the location and scope of the new stadium infrastructure (it is very close to the field itself) the base of the bubble would probably need to be built in the shared parking lot between Yost, Fisher and the outdoor track -- something that probably wouldn't fly.

The other issue is that if they were going to go this route, they would need to convert the entire field to artificial turf. While a very strong argument can be made that they should go this route anyway to facilitiate early-season ball in inclement weather, they would have to do it if they covered the field or they would kill all the grass.

All that said, they would end up spending a few million to build the new field and bubble, not to mention the (substantial) operating costs to keep the thing inflated and temperature controlled. Given the presence of Oosterbaan and the new cages adjacent to Fisher, it really doesn't make sense to do.

Even if DB is made of money, he still seems like an ROI kind of guy.


January 10th, 2013 at 9:23 PM ^

this is not some "cool story bro" type thing.  One of the SVP's at my company has a son that goes to Madison Heights Bishop Foley and is a very highly rated junior in the state of michigan.  They have met with the michigan coaching staff a number of times.  he just told me about this last week.


January 10th, 2013 at 9:34 PM ^

I don't think it's out of the possibility to put a bubble over a practice field. I've seen indoor driving ranges around that stand about 7/8 stories and are about 125 deep. That's 375 ft so it could happen. I don't think that are going to put the actual stadium In a bubble or dome. If I remember right, warren central in Indiana has a bubble over there practice field which is huge.


January 10th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

Well...I guess it's possible to put an inflatable "lung" over Ray Fisher Stadium.  It would have to be much bigger than this one, which the article says is the largest in the country, although the pictures make it appear that it is just not big enough for a regulation outfield:


If they put a dome up to facilitate batting and infield practice (like the dome in the article), that would make sense--much better than using Oosterbaan.  I don't see creating a playable field this way, though.



January 10th, 2013 at 11:01 PM ^

Nice addition, but necessary?  Part of the charm of going to a game at Fisher is that it feels like a college game.  A large HD screen may provide marginal replay benefit, will definitely be used more for advertising than anything else, and may detract from the character of the place.  I'll reserve judgment until it's up, just my two cents.

Michigan Arrogance

January 11th, 2013 at 7:14 AM ^

the HD board, great. seems like overkill for B10 baseball, but you gotta spend money to make money. Wait, I think that's actually the opposite in the NCAA these days.

The dome would allow for M to actually have home games in Feb-March and be more compeditive against the south in recruiting, etc would it not?

State Street

January 11th, 2013 at 7:34 AM ^

Wouldn't some sort of enclosure and retractable roof over the stadium make more sense?  

A) there isn't much space down there for a dedicated, enclosed baseball practice facility

B) it would give M the 'wow experience' of being the only team in the North to be able to play home games in February/March

Disclaimer: I have no idea if this is even architectually possible.


January 11th, 2013 at 9:43 AM ^

I disagree. DB can do some crazy things with the money he has control of so the project could definently turn into a retractable roof with 3 suspended HD scoreboards. But realistically...

Comparing to $250M Michigan Stadium Upgrades

$400M Total cost of Miller Park in Milwaukee (granted increase in construction cost since then)

$25-50M - Partially retractable roof for the new Vikings Stadium

$190M - Fully retractable roof for the new Vikings Stadium


I know there would obviously be increased cost for new construction creating the enclosure rather than just making an existing roof retractable, but my point is that (1) you can build a new retractable roof professional baseball stadium for about twice the cost of the Michigan Stadium upgrades and (2) the max cost of a 'reasonable' retractable roof would be at most the cost if not less than the stadium upgrades.


January 11th, 2013 at 9:32 AM ^

I liked the suggestion I saw a few months ago on MGOBLOG, and I'm running with it.  The B1G should drop out of the NCAA, and start playing an All-Midwest baseball league, with May-September schedules with wooden bats.  (Well, I guess NJ and Maryland are now in the "midwest.")  Would also provide BTN content over the summer.  Probably get the MAC and maybe other midwest or northern leagues to do the same.  Have their own "world series" in September, like a 3-game championship series to crown the champion.

This might get some decent players to come to the B1G in lieu of the NCAA system (esp. the wooden bat thing), and we wouldn't have to be compared to other schools that are clearly way better at baseball because of the whole Winter thing.