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They might put a parade warehouse on the site of Tiger Stadium

Jul 26, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

tiger Stadium2

Yeah it’s dead and gone, but until I am too I will always lament the passing of the late great Tiger Stadium. Allow me this one irrational fixation. If you do, I’ll consider giving up all of my other irrational fixations. Anyway:

Almost 13 years after the Detroit Tigers played their last game at their historic playing field at Michigan and Trumbull, a new concept has emerged for reusing the old Tiger Stadium site.

Three sources familiar with the idea say the City of Detroit is talking with the Parade Company, the non-profit organization that runs the city’s Thanksgiving Day parade and other special events, to buy the site and build its new headquarters, warehouse, and operations center there.

I would say something like “well, it’s better than an empty field,” but that’s not true because what has gone on at that empty field since the bad guys tore down Tiger Stadium has been pretty special. Not that that sort of thing is sustainable.  Other ideas for the site would have been, though. They’ve been shot down, sadly.

Eventually that land will be used for something. It may be this. It may be something else. And when it does, Tiger Stadium will be that much closer to fading from our collective memory.


  1. papacrick - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    I shed a tear every time I drive by the old site. It’s fun to park outside the fence and relive the good old’ memories and think about what it was like when guys like Greenberg and Cobb played there.

  2. aarontzach - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Aren’t there about 18,000 empty lots and/or buildings in the Detroit area? Would it really hurt anything to have this one lot stay open for a park?????

  3. budselog - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Detroit is a metropolitan wasteland that no one is willing to fix. You are correct: there are plenty of places to put a rickety old warehouse. Picking this site could only do one thing for them: “hey, when you have to deliver that heinous Dora the Explorer float, pretend like you’re driving to old Tiger Stadium and that’s where we’re located.”

    Fucking lame, but par for the course for that city. Damn shame.

    • aiede - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      It’s not that nobody’s willing to fix it, it’s that the people who are in charge of the city refuse to get out of the damn way. They’re worried about whether the Band-Aid dispenser was installed with union labor when what we really need is a fricking tourniquet.

      I spent a lot of time in Tiger Stadium as a kid, and I miss a lot about it, but I just don’t seem to have the same nostalgia chip in my head as others do. The home run I caught from Lance Parrish in the left field upper deck of Tiger Stadium didn’t evaporate when they knocked it down. If they could make the site function as a city park baseball diamond, go for it. If not, then making it the home of one of our cooler nonprofits is a not-terrible consolation prize.

  4. Joe - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    The most surprising thing I read in this post was that Craig has just the one irrational fixation.

  5. istillbelieveinblue - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    I like what is being done with the old Bush Stadium in Indianapolis. It opened in the 1930’s just down 16th street from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and was modeled after Wrigley Field. It also served as the stand-in for Comiskey Park in the movie Eight Men Out. The stadium was in desperate need of renovation by the late 80’s/early 90’s. The team and the city decided the best course of action was to move into a new stadium downtown. The Indians moved into Victory Field, across the street from the RCA Dome, in 1996. “Beautiful Bush” sat more or less vacant for 15 years. The old stadium is currently undergoing a conversion into apartments within the confines of the old stadium. The original exterior facade, which was modeled after Ebbets Field, is being preserved and renovated. Will this ultimately succeed financially? Maybe, maybe not, but I think it’s a pretty clever reuse of a site that also preserves some of the city’s history.

    An aerial shot of the stadium shortly before it closed:

    Artist renderings of what it will become:

  6. kopy - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Hopefully they think of clever ways to honor the stadium. In Minnesota, the Mall of America was built on the old Twins/Vikings site. On the floor in a corner of the amusement park is the old home plate, and there is a chair affixed to a wall in the exact location it was in when it was hit by Harmon Killebrew’s 520-foot home run:

    The former home of the Minneapolis Lakers is a parking lot:

    • istillbelieveinblue - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      That’s great!

  7. mybrunoblog - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    The only good thing coming from Detroit these days is “Hardcore Pawn”. A guilty pleasure for sure but I can’t look away.

  8. mminpacbeach - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    When the Tigers won the WS in 1984, my sisters and I got a square foot of the infield grass on the night they won it. We planted it in the flowerbed at our house. I love Tiger Stadium–such wonderful memories.

  9. darthicarus - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    You did happen to leave out the part that states where the actual field from Tiger Stadium would will be a Youth Baseball Field. The parade headquarters would be positioned where the LF-CF seats and concourse were.

  10. bw1980 - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    It’s really a shame that renovation wasn’t in style before we underwent the current stadium building boom that, I suppose, really started in the 90s.

    I will say that a lot of teams and fanbases are much better off such as the Astros, Mariners, Brewers, Rangers, Padres, Giants, Marlins, Phillies and Twins.

    However, I think the Yankees, Tigers and the Orioles really lost some luster. As a Red Sox fan, I just can’t get as excited for a Sox/Yankees series in the Bronx in that billion dollar stadium built for millionaires to enjoy. Old Yankee Stadium was just magical, loud and you really did feel as if there were ghosts haunting the place. New Yankee Stadium is devoid of character and characters: you could hear a pin drop in that place, it’s massive and it’s symbolic of the country’s shift toward catering to the wealthy and pushing everybody else into the nosebleeds in left field.

    Oh well.

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