|Comerica Park's Notable Events
2000 First Game at Comerica Park
2005 Home Run Derby
2005 All-Star Game
2006 ALDS vs New York Yankees
2006 ALCS vs Oakland Athletics
2006 World Series vs St. Louis Cardinals
Groundbreaking for the $300 million project took place on October 29, 1997. More than 60
percent of the financing is private, with the rest contributed from public sources. In the time
since groundbreaking, the design has continued to evolve. The resulting goal realized is a
combination of a classic design for the seating area with amusement and entertainment
features that are unique to Comerica Park. The ballpark was finished in time for the 2000
season's opening day.
Comerica Park itself is built around the configuration of the playing field. All planning efforts established fan sight lines as the highest
priority. The surrounding "outbuildings," however, conform to the property boundaries of Montcalm, Witherell, Adams, and Brush Streets.
As one enters these boundaries, Comerica Park appears rooted at the center of an urban village, a village that includes shops, restaurants,
offices, and other attractions. Eight, two- and three-story buildings of varying sizes and heights make up this village of outbuildings which
houses many of the service facilities surrounding the park. Roughly 70,000 square feet of retail space is included and another 36,000
square feet is dedicated to Tigers offices. The result is a landscape that blends into the surrounding street life of Foxtown. And with no
upper deck outfield seats, no ballpark offers a better view of a downtown skyline than Comerica Park. Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions
and Super Bowl XL, was built next door. It now appears that Mike Illitch will build a new home for the Detroit Red Wings in this
neighborhood, and the old arena, Jou Louis, will be torn down.
Changing the Dimensions
The plan was to keep the dimensions of the center field wall the same as Tiger Stadium, 440 feet. But when the blueprints were done,
something did not look right. So they measured the walls at Tiger Stadium, and the 440 feet on the center field wall that had been there
since 1931 was incorrect. The correct length was 420 feet. The distance to the center field wall at Comerica Park is 420 feet.
Soon after it opened, Comerica Park received complaints from players and fans alike concerning its expansive outfield dimensions, which
made it a difficult park in which to hit home runs. The vastness of the outfield 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. Prior to the 2003 MLB season the club did so, moving the distance from left-center
field from 395 to 370 feet (from 120 to 113 meters). This also removed the flagpole from the field of play, originally incorporated as an
homage to Tiger Stadium. Two years later, the bullpens were moved from right field to an empty area in left field created when the fence
was moved in. In place of the old bullpens in right field, 950 seats were added for a new capacity of 41,070. Unfortunately during the
moving of the left field wall, the flag pole was not moved, so it went from the playing field to the bullpen.
Notable Facts about Comerica Park
- Outside of the main entrance to the stadium there is a tiger statue that is approximately 15 feet (4.6
m) in height. There are eight other heroic-sized tiger statues throughout the park, including two
prowling on top of the scoreboard in left field. The nine tigers were created by New York Sculptor
Michael Keropian. Along the brick walls outside of the park are thirty-three tiger heads with lighted
baseballs in their mouths.
- Whenever the Tigers hit a home run, the eyes on the tiger statues on the top of the left field
scoreboard light up and tiger growling is played through the public address system.
- Fountains in center field are set off whenever the Tigers score, and also between innings. The water
show is also played pregame and postgame, and can be set to music.
- At the left-center field concourse there are statues of all of the players whose numbers have been
retired by the Tigers (with the exception of Jackie Robinson, whose number was retired in every MLB
park in 1997). They include Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer, Hal Newhouser, Willie Horton and Hank
Greenberg. A statue of Ty Cobb is also there, but he does not have a number, as he played baseball
before players began to wear numbers on their uniforms. These players' names, along with the
names of Hall of Fame players who spent a significant part of their career with the Tigers, are also
on a wall in left center field, and to them is added Ernie Harwell, the team's long time radio
announcer. Harwell has a statue just inside the stadium on the first base side.
- The ballpark is located near several downtown churches, including St. John's Episcopal Church
and Central United Methodist Church. On the roof of St. John's there is a banner that says "Pray
Here For the Lions and Tigers!"
- The flagpole located between center and left fields was originally in play, as was the flag pole in
Tiger Stadium. However, the left field wall was moved in front of the pole prior to the 2003 season. A
ball that hits the pole is now ruled a home run.
- At the time of construction, The scoreboard in left field was the largest in Major League Baseball.
- Originally, the bullpens were in right field. At the start of the 2003 season, an inner fence was
constructed across left field to reduce the left center field distance from 395 to 370 feet (from 120 to
113 meters). In 2005, the bullpens were moved to that open space and 950 seats were added in
- The stadium is famous for hosting one of the best give-aways in sports. Every Friday and Saturday
Night home games at Comerica there is a "Chevy Drive One Home Giveaway". This was introduced
in the 2005 season where contestants had the chance to win a Chevy Colbalt after the game. In
2006 fans are still treated to this great giveaway with a chance to win a Chevy HHR.
- As of the 2005 season, after Friday and Saturday night home games there is an on-field fireworks
display for the fans to enjoy.
- The right field of the stadium features the Pepsi Porch that has been graced by homeruns from only
the best lefty batters.
- During an episode of the MLB show This Week In Baseball in 1999, the host of the show and a
lucky fan came to the park to throw a baseball that was signed by the entire 1999 Tigers team into
the dirt that was being dug up to make the home plate area of the current field. The ball is basically
treated as a time capsule so when Comerica Park is demolished, the workers will be able to find