It may come as a surprise to regular readers that despite all the posts about the Detroit Tigers here and at Absolute Michigan, I’ve never been to Comerica Park. Today I not only get to go – I get to sit on the 3rd base line (2nd row!!)as the red-hot Detroit Tigers face the New York Yankees tonight!
Wikipedia’s entry for Comerica Park (edited a bit by me) explains that:
Groundbreaking for a new ballpark to replace Tiger Stadium for the Tigers was held on October 29, 1997 and the new stadium was opened to the public in 2000. In December 1998, Comerica Bank agreed to pay $66 million over 30 years for the naming rights for the new ballpark. Comerica Park sits on the original site of the Detroit College of Law.
In contrast to Tiger Stadium, which had long been considered one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball, Comerica Park is considered to be extremely friendly to pitchers. Except for dead center – 420 feet versus Tiger Stadium’s 440 feet – the outfield dimensions were more expansive than those at Tiger Stadium. This led to complaints from players and fans alike, and engendered the sarcastic nickname Comerica National Park.
Although a few public figures—notably radio announcer Ernie Harwell—supported the dimensions, most agreed that the left-field wall, in particular, needed to be brought closer to home plate. Before the 2003 MLB season the club did so, moving the distance from left-center field from 395 to 370 feet. In place of the old bullpens in right field, 950 seats were added for a new capacity of 41,070.
At the time of construction, the scoreboard in left field was the largest in Major League Baseball. The first playoff game at Comerica was played on October 6, 2006 against the New York Yankees. It hosted its first World Series later that month. The stadium also includes many baseball-themed features, including a “Monument Park” in the deep center field stands, complete with statues of former Tigers Ty Cobb, Hal Newhouser, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, and Willie Horton.
A few neat things I found are Comerica Park from Ballparks.com, baseball writer Geoff Baker touring Comerica, Calvin Johnson hitting a HR in BP, Comerica on Michigan in Pictures, a time-lapse of the installation of the new high-def scoreboard, the slightly bizarre Comerica UFO footage and a very cool RC plane fly-over of Comerica.