Nothing puts a pro-ball arena to the test like becoming an emergency shelter in a pinch. The Superdome in New Orleans became a house of horrors when it was filled with residents fleeing high water unleashed by Hurricane Katrina; Houston's Astrodome is fairing better as a haven. But reports had refugees fleeing it just as quickly as they could -- and who could blame them?
Fact is, sports palaces make crummy campgrounds. But with global warming promising plenty more killer storms in the coming months and years, isn't it time Broward County gives the Marlins yet another reason to flee Miami, where talks of a new stadium have broken down yet again? Forward-thinking local leaders should make their pitch for a stadium preplanned for the next catastrophe. FEMA, no doubt, would gladly help fund it, especially if the beleaguered agency got naming rights and some badly needed positive publicity. Here's the Fish dome as envisioned by our experts.
Each and every seat at FEMArena doubles as a toilet. Not only is this a must for storm victims but baseball fans working on their fifth bladder-busting light beer in extra innings will appreciate never having to miss a pitch.
Each seat comes equipped with a flotation device that, by pulling a drawstring, can be converted into a body bag.
FEMArena's bullpens feature actual, 1,500 pound bulls. Hungry hurricane refugees will celebrate when they find the giant skewers and mounds of charcoal stored in the dugouts. Alternately, in the event of complete civil and societal breakdown, the bulls can, optionally, be worshiped.
A pitcher's mound makes a great platform for self-congratulating politicians.
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Backup electric power keeps the Jumbotron showing a well-stocked library of DVDs. (No R-rated films before 10 p.m. Adult fare at 2 a.m.)
Luxury boxes come equipped with handcuffs, two-way mirrors, flashing lights, and ashtrays in case they have to be converted to looter interrogation rooms.
In every concourse, run on separate generators and titanium reinforced: working ATMs. With $40 user fees.
Amphibious military vehicles to transport ballplayers to and from the park throughout the emergency. Hey, how else are the Marlins going to draw more than 20,000 people to a home game?