July 18, 2018 / 10:33 AM / a year ago

Lions executives: Retractable roof at Ford Field could lure MLS to Detroit

Would Major League Soccer consider a team in Motown?

That is the hope of Detroit Lions executives, and according to team president Rod Wood, the NFL franchise is considering a retractable roof for Ford Field to accommodate MLS.

Wood was interviewed on “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR-AM (760) Monday morning, and the high-ranking official explained that the team is exploring such options.

“It’s something we’re looking at. We’re going to have a meeting later this week,” Wood said.

The biggest obstacle in Detroit’s hopes to convince MLS to grant the city an expansion team in 2020: The league and its players want outdoor games on grass.

Ford Field, with a capacity of 65,000, has neither.

“I think there’s a purest wing in the MLS and they like to play on grass, they like to play outside,” Wood said. “They have preferred smaller stadiums, although the two most successful franchises play in football stadiums, in Atlanta and Seattle. They regularly draw 40, 50, 60,000 fans and I think we might have a shot at doing the same thing downtown.”

Wood said the team is first analyzing how much it would cost to add a retractable roof to Ford Field, the Lions’ home since its opening in 2002. Then the team would have to figure out how to finance it.

“We’ll continue to work with MLS to see if we can come up with a solution,” Wood said. “Retractable roofs are expensive, so we’ll see what the cost comes in at and go from there.”

—Field Level Media

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