By Tim Graham
On Thursday morning's highly engaging and spiritually enlightening chat, a reader posed a question for which I didn't have the answer.
He wanted to know if the Buffalo Bills could order the Rogers Centre to keep the roof open for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. I told him I would poke around and post an answer on the Press Coverage blog.
In addition to the Rogers Centre's guidelines, I'll also outline the NFL's policies for retractable roofs. Sunday will be the fourth game the Bills have played this year in a stadium with a retractable roof -- University of Phoenix Stadium, Reliant Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, Rogers Centre.
The home team must declare 90 minutes before kickoff whether the roof will be open or closed for the game. After that, the referee will determine whether an open roof will be closed under two criteria: 1) hazardous conditions such as lightning or severe winds developing; or 2) rain.
The roof cannot be closed for rain after the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, but it can be closed at any time for hazardous conditions.
Once a roof is closed, it must remain closed for the entire game.
Rogers Centre policy
In addition to the NFL's rules, the Rogers Centre has three criteria that spells out when the roof must be closed:
When the temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), there's a certain percentage likelihood of rain or when winds reach a certain threshold.
In other words, the roof almost certainly will be closed for any December game. The Bills cannot decide to replicate home-field conditions up yonder.