Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Detroit Tigers

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Anyone that has been deriding the decay of Detroit obviously has not been to the Tiger’s ballpark. Comerica park is quite possibly the most ornate sports venue outside of Rome I have ever seen. Scores of large concrete tigers adorn the exterior along with a row of tiger heads that hold glowing baseballs in their mouths. Large baseball bats of steel or concrete are used to support all sorts of things. It is a marvelous structure, but the gaudiness made me wonder I was in for a baseball game or a gladiator match. As it turned out, it was a slaughter as the Tigers went down 11-2.

Inside the concourse is a busy one. They offer scores of food to fit every palate and enough hot dog options to satisfy even the most particular aficionado. The regular dog sports a Ballpark frank, the speciality dogs (and there are many) use Natural Casings dogs and the buns with the popular and tasty Winter’s sausage are not to be missed. If you like meat, Detroit won’t disappoint you. There is also a food court with of all things a carousel in the middle of it. But it doesn't have horses to ride, it has, of course, tigers.  

If Comerica Park has any negatives it stems from its ornateness. Think of  Roman Emperor with a penchant for big cats and an unlimited budget that is tasked to design a baseball stadium. You get the picture. It also is a little busy for my taste. There is a ivy/shrub wall in the batter’s eye portion of the outfield that has a fountain that erupts when the Tigers score (it didn’t get much of a work out when I was there) flanked by two full sized GM autos (it is Detroit you know). To the left of that is a row of statues of Tigers greats and the entire place is surrounded by massive light towers. Put all together, it makes the venue slightly too busy for my taste. Still a fantastic ballpark, but a bit over the top.

Bun-fresh and steamed. No...I never get tired of saying that.
Taste-the Ballpark frank was good, but a tad watery.
Toppings-not good for a MLB venue. Relish and mustard was all I could get for the normal dog.
Price-$4.50 isn’t a great price, but not a bad one either. After that $8 dog in St Louis I am thinking anything less is a steal (no, St. Louis...I have not forgotten).
Portability-again, a great paper wrapper does a good job.
It Factor-plenty of variety of dogs to choose from at Comerica Park.

Location-splendid. Downtown, downtown Detroit.
Access-everything, including the Detroit People Mover. And free parking is not that hard to find.
GA Ticket-$15 is the cheapest a person can get, which is not great but not a St. Louis heart stopper either (no St Louis...I have not forgotten).
Cleanliness-the park itself is not bad but had some of the dirtiest restrooms I have encountered at the MLB level. I also heard others talking about the overall restroom cleanliness.
Fans-nice turnout for a Monday. Fans were also engaged (until the blowout started) and very friendly.
Ambiance-Detroit gets credit for overall design, it does have an old time basis to it. But then it went Las Vegas with all of the cats and other things. A carousel?

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price4
It Factor5Fans5

While there are certainly some nasty areas surrounding the kernel of downtown Detroit, downtown itself was quite pleasant. I would recommend a visit not only to the ballpark but get there early and spend some time walking around. The entire downtown area is walkable from Comerica Park. And as steeped as they are in baseball history, a real baseball fan would show his stripes and catch a Tiger’s game.

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