Tiger Stadium’s Last Stand

The wrecking crews have left the Tiger Stadium site — at least temporarily.  Stadium preservationists have been granted a small extension to raise enough money to send the demolition company away for the winter.  If they’re unable to provide a check in the amount of $219,000 by Friday, October 10, the stadium will be completely demolished.

It seems to me that the city of Detroit has given the preservationists just enough rope to hang themselves.  The $219,000 due Friday will buy the group until March 2009 to raise upward of $15 million to pay for their plans to preserve the sacred park.  At this point, it truly looks like a long shot.

Without the continued support of hall of fame broadcaster, Ernie Harwell, I don’t give the effort much of a chance.  I also don’t think taxpayer money in the form of earmarks or other political schemes is the right way to go — and to date, these represent the groups only true sources of revenue.

One thing the city should consider is selling the entire site — in its “as is” condition — to private developers and letting them decide what to do with the remaining portion of the stadium.  Creativity and private investment are the stadiums best hope.  If left to politics and politicians, it is only a matter of time before it falls.

Tiger Stadium as it looks today.

Tiger Stadium before the right field stands were demolished. Today, the stadium runs from dugout to dugout and only two light towers remain.