Wrecking Ball Closing in on Tiger Stadium

The city of Detroit announced that demolition contracts for Tiger Stadium have been awarded to two Michigan firms — and that the wrecking ball may arrive within weeks.

At issue now is whether or not a local preservation group will be able to save some remnants of the old ballpark.  Their plan, which lacks funding, would preserve parts of the stadium from dugout to dugout including the exterior facade.  If the preservationists are unsuccessful, the city intends to completely demolish Tiger Stadium and allow the demolition contractors to sell it for scrap.

Tiger Stadium is no longer a viable venue for any major league sports team.  No one questions that.  But what bothers me most is the way the Detroit Tigers have completely abandoned their heritage at The Corner and refuse to assist the preservation effort in any way.  One would assume that, with Mike Ilitch’s backing, something truly creative and exciting could be developed at Michigan & Trumbull that would promote the Tigers’ history and evolution.  Instead, Ilitch perceives the fabled ballpark as a threat to Comerica Park and its revenue.  What incredible shortsightedness.

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”  One day — and probably very soon — another Detroit landmark is going to disappear before our very eyes.  In a matter of weeks, 112 years of Detroit baseball history will be reduced to a mangled heap of scrap metal and concrete and our old friend, who took so long to grow, will become only a memory.

For years, I have advocated the sale of Tiger Stadium to the private sector so that individual entrepreneurs could decide the fate of the old ballpark.  Instead, city-owned Tiger Stadium became a political pawn played by Detroit’s politicians.  It’s no surprise that the best they could come up with is to turn our beloved ballpark into scrap.  After all, that’s what most of Detroit has become after 35 years of political dictatorship.


Aerial shot of Tiger Stadium in its current condition.

5 replies on “Wrecking Ball Closing in on Tiger Stadium

  • Nick

    When I think of my high school days, I think of skipping out of school early on Tuesdays and Thursdays and catching the afternoon games with only a few thousand (more like 400) fans in attendance.

    I was young, I had a car, and that’s where I wanted to be. I’m glad I did that while I had the chance. There was nothing like it – You could hear everything; the ushers even let you get away with sitting up close behind a dugout. There was nothing like it, and now it will be wiped away as if it never existed.

    That is very wrong.

    I don’t understand how a historical building/stadium/field is allowed to be diminished to nothing. Shouldn’t the state of Michigan step in here?

    The thing that bugs me the most is that when the Super Bowl was here, Tiger Stadium was used for events. I believe the one in particular I am thinking of is a concert with Snoop Dogg.

    How, after sitting idle for 15 years, was the stadium good enough then? Easy: The city of Detroit was going to make money off of it. And now? C’mon, drive up Woodward from Jefferson to Square Lake – that’s a no-lie biopsy of metro Detroit. You may as well be living in New Orleans and left for dead if you live south of 8 Mile.

    I’m sure this will all end by paving paradise and putting up parking lots… for the Casinos in the area, of course.

  • Nick

    One more thought: Would it be too much to ask to be allowed into the stadium one last time? If the city is going to allow it to be taken away from us forever, the least they could do is let us take what’s left of it in one more time.

    And to those that may say we had that chance back in 1999, then the stadium should’ve been leveled back then, before the end of 1999.

    To all those that have tried their best to save Tiger Stadium over the years: Thank You. Those rafters will never leave my heart…

  • Hockey Arena

    I hope now that everyone realiezes that the new Hockey Arena will be going up here. Can’t everyone see that!!

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