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Marlins Park retractable roof hit a glitch Saturday

The retractable roof is brand new, but it's not perfect.

Saturday, Marlins Park personnel experienced their first hiccup with the 8,000-ton moving roof when a sensor malfunction delayed its closing for 10 minutes during a heavy rain storm, leaving the field wet and soggy before Sunday's exhibition game with the Yankees.

"There was a period Saturday where we locked it in one area after we had a sensor go off," said Claude Delorme, the team's Executive Vice President for Operations and Events. "We wanted to make sure we got clearance and then we continued to close it. It was purely a precautionary measure."

Delorme said the roof was being left open Saturday so the grass could receive sun and some rain should it come. But when afternoon storms intensified, Delorme said, personnel decided to close it.

"Delays like that can happen time to time for whatever reason," Delorme said. "The point is to try and protect the roof from being damaged."

It takes 13 minutes for the roof to close, according to Delorme, once the brakes are removed by stadium personnel. "It basically takes 20 minutes total once we decide we want to close it," Delorme said. "The first seven minutes are sending the personnel up there to prepare for it to close."

The Marlins have yet to play a game with the roof open, but will attempt to tonight against the Yankees. With the temperature at 89 degrees and the humidity at 55 percent, Marlins President David Samson said the team decided to close it Monday afternoon with the hope the stadium would cool down in time for first pitch.

Samson said he, Delorme and two other members of Marlins personnel will meet at 3:30 p.m. before every night game at Marlins Park to decide whether to leave the roof open or closed. The guidelines to leave the roof open: temperatures inside the stadium won't go higher than 80 degrees and the humidity won't be higher than 60 percent. 

"Anything over that, there's no chance [we'll leave it open]," Samson said. "We also have to factor in wind and relative humidity."

> Former starting pitcher Javier Vazquez visited the team during batting practice Monday with his son. Vazquez, 35, said he doesn't want to say he's retired, but "I don't have an itch" to return. Vazquez said he's going to stick around and watch the Marlins tonight, but will be at the Heat-Thunder game on Wednesday. 


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Will Peartin

It's understandable. Even a small roof, like the ones you'd see in homes and whatnot, weighs a lot, so getting it to move might cause a hiccup or two. Well, with a lesson like this, they would probably find a faster way to get the windows closed while avoiding kinks like these.

Sierra Nordgren

Well, unexpected happenings like that can happen all the time. However, it still doesn’t change the fact that it is the only arena in the state a retractable roof. With one touch of the ignition switch, the 8,000-ton, high-strength steel canopy will slide into place, keeping everyone dry inside. Moreover, it only takes roughly 13 minutes for the roof to complete both opening and closing action.

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