Comerica Park is an iconic sports venue for its amazing, magical, and breathtaking skyline and outstanding building structure. Located in Downtown Detroit, MI, it is the home to MLB franchise the Detroit Tigers, winners of four World Series Titles and 11 AL Pennants. The ballpark was opened in 2000 replacing the historic Tiger Stadium, which traced its origin to 1911.
The Detroit Tigers, the oldest MLB franchise, took birth in 1894. They constructed Bennett Park in 1896 as their home ground. In 1912, the team moved to Navin Field, which was built on the same site and inaugurated on the very day Boston Red Sox opened Fenway Park. The stadium went through multiple renovations and became Tiger Stadium in 1961.
The Detroit Tigers started to look for a new home in the mid-1990s, as their Tiger stadium had reached its modernization limits. Construction began on October 29, 1997, for a new stadium. It became Comerica Park in December 1998 after Comerica Bank bought 30-year naming rights for $66 million. As part of the Downtown Detroit revival plan, an indoor stadium – Ford Field – came into existence next to it.
Comerica Park was opened on April 11, 2000, and the Tigers moved to their new home after playing at the Tiger Stadium for 88 seasons. The first game saw the home team registering a 5-2 win against the Seattle Mariners.
Design and Features
The fame of Comerica park lies in its incredible building that is exceptionally rich in design. It truly depicts the definition of what we mean by “picturesque” and knows how to grab people’s attention effortlessly with its unique and modern features. The fabulous Fox Theater built in 1928 sits across the entrance to the ballpark. Historic St. John Episcopal Church and Central United Methodist Church are just a few minutes’ walk from the stadium entrance.
A giant 15-ft sculpture of a tiger at the entrance welcomes visitors to Comerica Park, which also has another eight prowling tiger statues at different parts. Every time a home run is scored, there was a sound of the roaring of tigers preceded by lighting up of the eyes of two big cat statutes on the scoreboard. The stadium also has 33 replicas of tiger heads holding lighted baseballs.
The giant Chevrolet Fountain behind center field has also logos of GM, Chrysler, and Ford to showcase Detroit’s preeminence in the automobile sector. Comerica Park underwent a $4 million renovation in 2014 that added more seats, lounge chairs, and couches, a bar on the porch, a fire pit, high-top tables as well as a fire pit.
There is a monument park at Comerica Park. It has full-sized statues of six of the Tigers’ greats namely Charlie Gehringer, Hal Newhouser, Ty Cobb, Hank Greenburg, Willie Horton, and Al Kaline. It continues to have a dirt track as most ballparks had before the 1940s. Another attraction is a Ferris wheel with baseball-type cars at the northeastern corner.
Facilities and Amenities
Comerica Park is one of the most sought-after dining places in Detroit. The Big Cat Food Court located just off the stadium entrance offers an extensive range of scrumptious cuisines. The Beer Hall has one of the finest collections of beverages served alongside a tavern-style menu in an appealing setting. Brushfire Grill is an open-air dining area with a beautiful fountain.
Tiger Club at Comerica Park is the place to enjoy games amid a full buffet and a thrilling view of the field. Blue Moon Brewhouse is another lounge at the upper concourse.
Liquid fireworks display with lights and music on the centerfield wall following home runs and key moments during a game is another major attraction at Comerica Park. There is a carousel at the stadium featuring 30 tigers and two chariots. It is beautifully hand-painted and accessible to those using wheelchairs. Tigers Retail section has five merchandise stores selling souvenirs and baseball merchandise.
Purely Baseball Things To Know
- Comerica Park was the venue for the 2005 MLB All-Star Game. The last time the city hosted the game was in 1971.
- The 2005 Home Run Derby witnessed Bobby Abreu making 24 homers, then a record. He scored 41 home runs in that event.
- In 2006, the Tigers defeated the Yankees 3-1 in the first playoff game.
- Comerica Park hosted its first World Series in 2006. The St. Louis Cardinals went to win the series.
- The second World Series at the ballpark was in 2012. The home team lost the series to the San Francisco Giants.
- The stadium is one of most pitchers friendly in MLB.
- Justin Verlander of the Tigers threw the first no-hitter on June 12, 2007. It was the first no-hitter in Detroit after 55 years.
- It is the only MLB stadium that continues to have a dirt strip nicknamed “keyhole,” which separates the pitcher’s mound from the home plate.
- Every ball that hits the flag pole is declared a homer.
- While playing at Comerica Park, the Tigers won the Central Division title in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, AL pennants in 2006 and 2012).
- The Detroit Tigers are the oldest continuous MLB franchise without any change in the name or home city.
- Slugger Juan González refused to renew his contract with the Tigers in 2001 citing field dimensions at the stadium. He found it extremely difficult to hit homers.
- In 2003, the Comerica Park field was modified to address the problem.
- During the 2006 American League Championship Series, the Yankees were the most favored team to win. But the Tigers routed them 3-1.
- Miguel Cabrera is the only Tigers star to hit more than 30 home runs in eight seasons. He achieved this feat on August 15, 2012, before the home crowd.
- It hosted the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 won by the Detroit Red Wings.
- Comerica Park also hosts various other NHL events, including the 2013 NHL Winter Classic.
- The stadium is a regular venue for concerts of top-rated artists and bands.
- In July 2017, the stadium hosted its first soccer match between French club Paris Saint German and Italian club AS Roma.