Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Will the St. Louis Rams new NFL stadium be roofless?

By Patrick Londrigan

The Rams have played at the Edward Jones Dome, formerly known as the “state of the art” indoor stadium, since they moved back to St. Louis in 1995.  Since then the Rams have played 161 games inside.  The Dome is kept at a consistent 68 to 70 degrees, awarding the fans the ability to watch the game while mostly ignoring the outside weather.  With the Dome now being considered “out of date” by the league, the Rams look to build a new stadium, an open air stadium, along the riverfront of the Mississippi.
If St. Louis does build a new outdoor stadium for the Rams, the fans will be needing to bring their weather gear for the first time in decades.  Let’s take a look at what that might be like.
In the past 161 games in the Dome, the weather outside actually hasn’t been very bad.  The temperature at kickoff have been in the 50s, 60s or 70s for more than half of the games.  But anyone that has been to the mid-west knows how the weather can swing at any minute.  The outdoor temperatures at kickoff have ranged from 13 to 90 degrees. 
The temperature in January can be unpredictable all on its own.  On January 27, 2002, when the Greatest Show on Turf beat the Philadelphia Eagles, to advance to their second Super Bowl in three years, it was a comfortable 67 degrees outside, during game time.  Not the same can be said on January 3, 2010, when the temperature at kickoff was 13 degrees and a below-zero wind chill.  The fan turn out that day was minuscule, the weather being a major factor, but probably not the only one.  The Rams lost to the San Francisco 49ers 28-6, finishing their season at 1-15.
According to the National Weather Service, the Rams have played in the Dome on 33 days when the temperature outside at kickoff was 40 degrees or lower.  Of those 33, 15 of them were 30 degrees or lower, and it was just 13 degrees for two games. It was at least 80 degrees for 17 kickoffs and 85 degrees or hotter for six games.  The hottest outdoor temperature recorded was 90 on September 6, 1998.  It has been raining at kickoff for six games, and snow has been falling for four others.
To wrap this up.  By the book, the Rams have had pretty consistent weather and doesn’t seem that an outdoor stadium would be unsuccessful.  Of the 161 games at home, 86 of them have been in the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Along with 17 being at least 80 degrees, and six games being 85 or hotter.  109 of the 161 games have had great weather, 68%.  I believe that it is safe to say, that the Rams will have no problem in an outdoor stadium.

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