The signs had been in place and it was just a matter of time before the first bulldozer made its mark on Tiger Stadium. Today, the Free Press reported that the bulldozer had begun making a garage-sized hole on the North side of the ballpark. With the Tiger Stadium Conservancy deadline approaching at the end of the month, today’s move demonstrated that the reality of no stadium at Michigan and Trumbull may actually become a reality nine years later.
If you’re not from Detroit you don’t understand what this stadium means to this oft-depressed town. In a city where famous landmarks often stand vacant for decades at a time (see Train Station, Book-Cadillac), and where our brightest future sit in crowded classrooms with little funding, Tiger Stadium has, for some, turned into another reminder of our failures as a community. We all had grand plans to make this revered corner as ground zero to our city’s rebirth and it didn’t pan out. We all thought that minor league teams or community events would help fuel a passion that we all once had. Instead, Tiger Stadium will not be another Maple Leaf Gardens or Pontiac Silverdome – but instead join the ranks of Olympia and Chicago Stadium as mere plaques on the side of the road.
I was fortunate in October of last year to walk through the centerfield entrance onto this once-beautiful lawn. This picture I took of the centerfield wall really demonstrates what has happened to this wonderful place.