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Florida baseball stadium will be fine without roof, Robbie says


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- If Wayne Huizenga plans to put a dome on Joe Robbie Stadium, his partner doesn't know anything about it.

Tim Robbie, who owns 50 percent of the stadium, said yesterday he never heard of a letter, sent by Huizenga to National League president Bill White, that stated a roof would be added to JRS if rainouts became a chronic problem.

Nor did he expect to talk with Huizenga, the would-be owner of Florida's franchise, about the issue.

"This hasn't been discussed," he said. "I feel this whole weather issue has been overblown. I don't think rain and heat [are] going to be a big factor. I'm real confident it will never come to a discussion with baseball about doming the stadium."

Asked if he would approve of the stadium being covered, Robbie said: "I don't want to get into that. I don't think it will ever come to that, so there's no reason to speculate on it."

Huizenga repeatedly had stated that baseball outdoors in South Florida would not be a problem, even with the high humidity and frequent thundershowers.

Asked if Huizenga, who did not return repeated phone calls yesterday, sent White the letter just to appease any nervous owners, Robbie answered: "I think so."

Philadelphia Phillies owner Bill Giles said there was "slight" skepticism among his colleagues over South Florida's ability to play outdoors but "in reality, the weather is better [in South Florida] than in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh."

If Huizenga decides to put a top on JRS, it will be costly. It was learned Tuesday night that the renovations might cost $60 million.

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