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Comerica Park Info
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Phone: 313-471-2000

Signature feature:
Center field fountain

2018 Tigers Schedule
(home games only)

Field Facts
Outfield Dimensions
LF: 345'   CF: 420'   RF: 330'

Playing Surface
Kentucky bluegrass

Home Dugout
3rd Base

Stadium Staff
PA Announcer:
Bobb Vergiels

Organist: none

Head Groundskeeper:
Heather Nabozny


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 Detroit Tigers

Comerica Park

2100 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI  48201
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Comerica Park - home of the Tigers Comerica Park
Comerica Park is an HOK Sport-designed, Camden Yards-inspired, picturesque throwback era ballpark situated in the heart of downtown, just like its template is in other major American cities.

Detroit's version was one of three such venues to open in 2000 (Houston and San Francisco were the others), which further underscores that the Tigers' home is the modern era's version of an "assembly line" ballpark.

Not that that's a bad thing, as each new HOK-designed and downtown situated ballpark has wowed the local fan base, and the Detroit faithful are likewise satisfied end-users.

No matter where they flock to the ballpark from, fans' first glimpse of Comerica Park will most likely include its all-brick exterior, which is circled by numerous stone tiger heads that have a baseball between clinched teeth.

The two main entrance gates, both down the right field line, are guarded by huge tigers with menacing scowls. In all, nine tigers, weighing an average of 5,000 pounds, are displayed above or near the entrances. Each was the work of New York-based artist Michael Keropian.

Although not as omnipresent on the inside, Comerica Park does have brick in the one place it is most likely to be noticed: the area extending from either side of the tree-lined hitter’s backdrop.

When watching the game on TV, the brick dominates the background and takes up large portions of what’s visible on the screen. But when you actually watch a game at Comerica in person, you hardly notice it.

Ty Cobb and Hank Greenberg are among six players celebrated with statues on Comerica Park's outfield concourse The brick wall serves as a Tigers Wall of Fame, with last names of six Tigers immortalized on the wall in left-center. On the concourse above, there are six 13-foot tall sculptures of former Tiger greats Al Kaline, Hal Newhouser, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Ty Cobb, and Willie Horton. Aside from Cobb, who played before there were numbers, the other five have their retired number etched in the brick directly below their statues, which were cast in stainless steel and sculpted by Omri Amrany.

The last names of Tiger legends that played before numbers were worn adorn the right-center field stretch of brick. A notable exception is the name Harwell, for the famed Tiger broadcaster who retired following the 2002 season after 55 years in the booth.

Besides getting a Tigers history lesson, the outfield concourse that stretches from left to right field is also a good place to watch the game for a couple of innings.

If you really want to be immersed in Tigers history, then “The Walk of Fame” spread out along the main concourse on the opposite side of Comerica is where you should go to get your learn on. The Decade Monuments there cover two 10-year periods of team history at a time in floor to ceiling displays with corresponding era artifacts.

Comerica Park has many other distinctive features, although not all of them are original. The first thing you notice when you look out towards the playing field is the huge scoreboard in left field. At ten stories and 147 feet high by 202 feet wide, it was the largest in baseball when it debuted in 2000. The inspiration for the supersized board was Jacobs Field's jumbotron, which was baseball’s biggest until Detroit copied the feature and made theirs slightly bigger. Sitting atop the scoreboard, on either side, are a pair of orange and black tigers, whose eyes flicker green when a Tiger hits a home run and during the classic Survivor song “Eye of the Tiger.”

The light towers are in the form of toothbrushes, just like those at Cleveland’s (since renamed) Jacobs Field. While Tiger Stadium’s distinctive bank of lights could be spotted from most places in Detroit, Comerica Park is only visible from a short distance. The field is dug below street level, so the ballpark doesn’t appear to be very large as you approach it from the outside.

Directly above the hitter’s backdrop in center field is the recently renamed Chevrolet Fountain, which remains dormant during the game unless a Tiger homers. It is used before and after games when it spurts water streams that are choreographed to music.

The fountain is also the centerpiece of the fireworks show that occurs after most Tigers’ Friday and Saturday night home game. Spraying water up to 150 feet high, the fountain is programmed to changing lights as well as music. If you sit in the upper deck, you can easily see the cylinder-shaped headquarters of General Motors directly behind the fountain that they sponsor (Chevrolet is a GM brand).

On the topic of sponsors, when I first heard the name Comerica Park I had no idea what Comerica was. Actually a bank, it sounded circus-like to me and inside the stadium you’ll find a pair of carnival rides to follow up on that notion.

There is a carousel with 30 hand-painted tigers to merry-go-round in the middle of the circular food court on the park's first base side. For further amusement, a 50-foot high Italian-made Ferris wheel with 12 cars shaped like baseballs is close to the Brushfire Grill on the third base side of the park. The cost to ride each is a couple bucks, except on Sunday when kids 14 and under get to ride for free.

As for the ballpark fare, there are a number of Little Caeser’s pizza stands throughout the ballpark, which is no surprise since the Tigers’ owner made his millions by founding the chain in 1959. The cola of choice is Pepsi.

As all newer ballparks do, Comerica has a restaurant/bar located on its premises, specifically in right field near Gate B, which is where a McDonald’s was originally placed, then replaced four years later by Montgomery Inn, a BBQ joint that had a 5-year run until it too was replaced in 2009 by The Labatt Blue Light Jungle Bar.

Although not exactly knothole gang-esque, you can actually watch the game without having to pay admission if there is a sparse crowd, as the field and most of the action that takes place on it can be easily seen from the avenue (Adams) running behind Comerica in right-center. Only if there are lots of fans within the stadium milling about the outfield concourse will your sight be obstructed.

Fans that do pay to watch the game get a complimentary copy of the Detroit News, which prints a special baseball-only Comerica Park sports section. The paper is very thorough in its coverage and has some good feature pieces on both the Tigers and the visiting team. Whether that has changed since my multiple visits to Comerica in 2002, I do not know. But at least Detroit has remained a two newspaper town since then (the Free Press is still going strong), while elsewhere it has become common for only one big city daily to survive the digital revolution.

A by-product of the modern ballpark building revolution are the pleasing backdrops that have ensued, hence the Tigers have a ballpark that is framed by the downtown Detroit skyline from center to right field. Just beyond center field is the stately Detroit Athletic Club building, which was built so long ago (1915) that Ty Cobb had a membership there. Looming large behind the third base grandstand is the 8-year old home of the Detroit Lions, Ford Field, which hosted the Super Bowl in 2006 and Final Four in 2009.

While nobody will miss the Lions’ former home, the Pontiac Silverdome in the nearby suburbs, baseball fans still wax nostalgic about Comerica Park’s predecessor, Tiger Stadium, which stood at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull for 97 years. The two ballparks were a short walk from each other, separated by only 1.37 miles, but Comerica has the dubious distinction of replacing the baseball cathedral and registered Michigan historic site that hosted Tiger baseball for 88 years.

Although I never saw a game at Tiger Stadium, I made the short pilgrimage by foot to see “The Grand Old Lady at The Corner” on June 5, 2002. Unfortunately, by that time the stadium had been left to decay. Owned by the city, but maintained by the Tigers, the ballpark was not open to the public, there were no tours, and the last pieces of Tiger Stadium were finally hacked down at 9:24 a.m. on September 21, 2009, almost ten years to the day in 1999 (September 27) that the Tigers played their last game there.

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, a former minor league player for Detroit in the 1950s, abandoned Tiger Stadium because he felt it didn't have enough luxury suites and he couldn’t control parking revenue. Apparently to make up for lost time, parking isn’t cheap at the new ballpark. I saw nothing for less than $10 and the Comerica Park parking lots will set you back at least an Andrew Jackson. The cost to rent one of the ballpark's 105 suites makes the $20 parking look like a bargain in comparison.

Despite his baseball background, for a long time Ilitch spent the bulk of his finances on talent for the Detroit Red Wings, which he also owns, and while the hockey team was winning Stanley Cups, the Tigers suffered through a dozen consecutive losing seasons, hitting near historic rock bottom when they went 43-119 in 2003. The Tigers' losing ways alienated the proud Detroit baseball fandom and attendance at Comerica after its first season was sparse.

Things finally changed in 2006, when Ilitch loosened the purse strings and the Tigers' payroll rose to $82 million, a full $33 million higher than it had been in the depth of despair days just three years prior. And just like that, Detroit fielded a winning baseball team, going all the way to the World Series in '06.

With a fan base no longer unfulfilled, the majority of Comerica Park's green seats are now filled when the team is in town. The 2007 squad became the first to be watched by over 3,000,000 patrons, and the 2008 team drew an astounding 3,202,645 paying customers in a year that ownership also spent a Tigers' record $137 million on payroll.

What fans of all ages and players of all wages will discover upon their first trip to Comerica Park is a lovely ballpark in a great setting. True, it had the misfortune of replacing one of baseball's finest cathedrals, but once a quality product was placed on its Kentucky Bluegrass playing field Detroiters warmed up to Tiger Stadium's successor.

Comerica Park in Detroit

Comerica Park Facts, Figures, Firsts & Footnotes

  • Cost: $300 million
  • Architects: HOK Sport (now called Populous) and Detroit-based SHG (now called SmithGroup)
  • Construction manager: Hunt-Turner-White, which was an alliance formed by Huber, Hunt & Nichols, Inc., Turner Construction Company and White Construction Company
  • Construction began on October 29, 1997.
  • Public financing paid for 38.3% ($115 million) of the ballpark's cost. Tigers owner Mike Ilitch footed the remaining 61.7% ($185 million).
  • Naming rights: Comerica Bank pays $2.2 million per year through 2030.
  • Owned by the Detroit-Wayne County Stadium Authority.
  • The ballpark itself takes up approximately 788,000 square feet.
  • Playing field: Kentucky Bluegrass, silt loam soil (infield), clay soil (mound and plate area)
  • A dirt path leads from the pitcher's mound to home plate, where the batter's cut out area is in the shape of a home plate.
  • First game: The Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on April 11, 2000 before 39,168 fans.
  • The ballpark's lower level contains approximately 23,000 seats. The upper deck is split into two distinct sections that combine to hold 15,000 fans, while the suite levels have a capacity of 2,000.
  • Original seating capacity was 40,000. In 2005 the bullpens were moved from right field and 950 seats were added in their place.
  • Has five premium seating areas, one of which is the Tiger Den. As the Tigers word it, this area, found in the upper rows of the lower seating bowl, "resembles the fashionable boxes at old-time sporting venues with moveable chairs."
  • As a tribute to Tiger Stadium, the flagpole located between center and left field was originally in play. That changed after the 2002 season when the left field wall was moved in.
  • For the first time since the ballpark opened, financial troubles prevented General Motors from sponsoring "their" center field fountain in 2009, but the Tigers kept their logo on it anyway and added those of fellow Detroit-based automakers Chrysler and Ford in a show of support for the Motor City's Big 3, which the baseball team emphasized in a sign beneath the General Motors logo that simply said, "The Detroit Tigers Support Our Automakers." GM became sole sponsor of the fountain again in 2010.
  • Omri Amrany, the Israel-born artist who sculpted the half-dozen statues of the Tigers legends on the left-center field concourse, has been commissioned by many teams to sculpt sports figures. Some examples of his work can be found outside of the arenas in Detroit (Gordie Howe), Los Angeles (Magic Johnson) and Philadelphia (Wilt Chamberlain), and at ballparks in Chicago (Harry Caray) and Washington DC (Josh Gibson, Frank Howard and Walter Johnson).
  • During night games it's not uncommon for large flocks of seagulls to frolic in the outfield grass.
  • The first-ever concert held at the ballpark was a sold-out show by the Dave Matthews Band on July 5, 2000.

    Detroit Info
    Airport Code: DTW
    Metro Population: 4,425,110 (2008 Census Bureau estimate)
    County: Wayne
    Daily Newspapers: Detroit Free Press & Detroit News

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