With the Major League Baseball season upon us – and oh, won’t that be for awhile – the old venerable stadiums and the way the game used to be played, is somewhat where my mind is right now, sort of. The grounds were sometimes uneven and accommodations were iffy at best. Then came the nice neat (& sterile) and dimensional, domed stadiums. They’re loud, bright (the players look like mice in a controlled box) and the most important thing, dry. No rain, snow, hail, heat or cold would keep the game from being called. Now Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have you ever the seen the rain; coming down on a sunny day” makes a little more sense.
Back in the earlier days of baseball, rainouts added up to crazy scheduling as the season wound down. Just as we do in motorsports – specifically drag racing.
It’s a pain for everyone. The teams either have to hang around for an extra day or two or come back at another date or some sort of rescheduling that isn’t in the budget. Fans get a rain check or make time out of the work day or miss it altogether – it just doesn’t work out well most of the time. OK, so you see where I’m headed – well maybe, maybe not. I’m not particularly sure putting a dome over a 1/4mile race track is sensible or practical. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see it happen – what a sight to behold! The sound might blast your eardrums and how you ventilate a monstrosity like this might not be possible. Now indoor drag racing isn’t new as we discussed by a little bit ago. If anyone would build an indoor stadium, it most likely would be Bruton Smith, who built the beautiful 4-wide zMax strip in Concord, NC. I just think the cost and difficulty may be prohibitive.
Not every city has great weather so how else can you reduce the delays that rain brings to drag racing? Baseball does have a second invention that might help in this regard. Outdoor covers or more precisely infield covers – field tarps. Why couldn’t you have a tarp that sat just outside one of the walls and when the rains came, you pulled it across. The jet-dryers wouldn’t have to be used or at the most only shortly. And how about this. Why not have under ground drainage like they do at football stadiums. Someone told me some the tracks do have drainage but I’m talking about a more comprehensive system. Also another idea would be to build a housing over the racetrack but opened and sealed off from the outside. You may or may not cover the fans but the result would still be placing a top over the strip to keep it dry.
The most economical way to keep drag strips dry is the tarp and it wouldn’t be that costly and would be fairly simple to accomplish. I’d like to think the sport could raise itself to the level of other major league sports and build a stadium maybe with covers that will facilitate racing and not make media, teams or fans suffer because in the end, we all pay when it rains.
I mean really, I want to know how many of us have rain checks we never used. Yea, that’s what I was thinking.