We live in the age of corporate sponsorship – I can image being dropped into a ballpark in an unknown location and being clueless as to which team plays there. There’s no such issue in downtown Detroit, however, where there is little doubt Comerica Park is home to the Tigers. A towering concrete tiger stands outside the home plate entry; full-body tigers are found prowling on top of various corners and gates; tiger heads with baseballs in their mouths line much of the brick exterior. Topping it off are two full-color tigers atop the scoreboard in left field.
Some feel Comerica goes too far with the tiger theme, but I’m not one of them. The extensive use of the team’s identity is refreshing. But that’s enough about tiger statues – there are plenty of other terrific features of Comerica Park.
Second, the park pays tribute to the franchise’s long history via decade-specific towers of memorabilia and series of statues in left field (Willie Horton, Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Hal Newhouser, and Al Kaline).
Finally, the setting of Comerica Park in downtown Detroit provides pleasant visuals from most areas of the park (especially behind home plate). While Detroit has experienced hard times and correspondingly has some rough areas, the area immediately around the park is very comfortable. Reasonably-priced parking was available nearby, and our parking garage attendant even gave us a couple of tickets to the game (we already had tickets and were able to give these to other fans outside).
A Tip of the Cap
- Beautiful architecture mixing bricks, metal, and concrete.
- The prevalence of the team’s identity (tiger sculptures, statues of team greats, memorabilia from each decade)
- The low setting of the field in relation to the street
- The backdrop of downtown Detroit behind the outfield
- The dirt strip running from home plate to the pitcher’s mound
Swing and a Miss
There was nothing special about the food and I’ve certainly had better pizza than the Little Caesar’s available at Comerica. With the Tigers and Little Caesar’s both owned by Mike Ilitch, not much is going to be done about that.
Trip to the Mound
The Club Seats, which make up the lower part of the upper deck, offer extra leg room and are quite comfortable. They also provide a great view and don’t seem that far from the field.
Overall Rating: A
- Setting (A-): In a pleasant part of Detroit with nice panoramic views from behind home plate, close to several nice sports bars including Cheli’s Chili Bar (go Badgers!).
- External Appearance (A): A nice blend of brick, steel, and concrete. Its low profile means it doesn’t unnecessarily dominate its surroundings.
- Internal Appearance (A-): The green seats look nice (even if they are quite typical today) and the park is overall quite appealing to the eye. My only minor complaint is that the Pepsi Home Run Porch signage is a little distracting in right field.
- Atmosphere (A-): Even in late August with the Tigers out of contention, nearly 33,000 fans turned out to enjoy a nice evening. The fans surrounding us were all friendly and knowledgeable about the Tigers. The club also seems to keep distractions like contests between innings to a minimum.