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Officials discussing options to make Ford Field roof retractable

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We could have outdoor Lions home games coming in the future.

Colorado Rockies v Detroit Tigers Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Ever wanted to enjoy a home Detroit Lions game with the sun beating down on the field and a cool breeze running through the stands? It sounds like that could be a possibility down the road, as Ford Field officials are currently discussing options to add a retractable roof to the stadium per The Detroit News.

The plans are part of a proposal to Major League Soccer in order to make a bid for a professional soccer team in Detroit. MLS officials are concerned that an indoor stadium made for football would not make for an ideal pitch for a soccer franchise. Detroit, however, is unwilling to use any other local venue as a home for a soccer team, and a brand-new stadium appears out of the question at the moment.

At the head of these negotiations is Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who would be one of the potential owners of a Detroit soccer team. Gilbert is also the owner of Quicken Loans Inc., a mortgage lending company whose headquarters is just a quick walk from Ford Field.

Gilbert is optimistic that if Ford Field officials can come up with a workable plan to add a retractable roof, they’ll finally win a bid for an MLS franchise:

“If we get that worked out,” Gilbert said during an interview with SportsBusiness Daily, “I think we have a pretty good chance.”

It’s unclear what kind of timeline we’re talking about here. Last year, Ford Field went through $100 million worth of renovations and were able to pull it off in one offseason. This, however, seems like an even bigger endeavor. Back in 2011, Vancouver’s BC Place stadium replaced its inflatable roof with a retractable one at the cost of $560 million, but to be fair, that price tag also features other modifications like bigger videoboards, added wifi and plenty of other improvements. Also, BC Place was a 38-year-old stadium at the time of renovations. Ford Field is only 16 years old.

Either way, it looks like officials are seriously considering this change, and that could mean some outdoor(ish) home games for the Detroit Lions games!

Would you welcome that change?