Comerica Park is a ballpark located in Downtown Detroit. It has been the home of Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers since 2000, when the team left Tiger Stadium. Comerica purchased the park’s naming rights; the bank was founded in Detroit, and its headquarters was there when it opened. While the bank moved to Dallas, it still has a significant presence in Detroit, Michigan.
Founded in 1894, the Tigers had played at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull Avenues in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood since 1896, when Bennett Park opened. In 1911, new Tigers owner Frank Navin ordered the construction of a new ballpark to be built on the same site. Opening in 1912, the ballpark, which eventually became known as Tiger Stadium, served as the Tigers’ home for the next 88 seasons. By the mid-1990s, it had become apparent that the much-beloved ballpark had become obsolete and could not be renovated any further. Comerica Park sits on the original site of the Detroit College of Law. Groundbreaking for the new stadium was held on October 29, 1997. At the time of construction, the scoreboard in left field was the largest in Major League Baseball. It was part of a downtown revitalization plan for Detroit, MI, including the construction of Ford Field adjacent to the ballpark. The first game was held on April 11, 2000, against the Seattle Mariners.
The main entrance to the ballpark is located across the street from the Fox Theatre and between two historic downtown churches, St. John Episcopal Church and Central United Methodist Church. Outside the main entrance is a tiger statue of 15 feet (4.6 m). There are eight other heroic-sized tiger statues throughout the park, including two prowling on the scoreboard in left field. These tigers’ eyes light up after a Tigers home run or a victory, and the sound of a growling tiger also plays. The tigers were created by sculptor Michael Keropian and fabricated by ShowMotion Inc. in Norwalk, Connecticut. Along the brick walls outside the park are 33 tiger heads with lighted baseballs in their mouths. M&H Pest Control Detroit
At the left-center field concourse, there are statues of almost all of the players whose numbers have been retired by the Tigers (except Jackie Robinson, whose number was retired in every MLB park in 1997 and is located on the wall in the right-center field). A statue of Ty Cobb is also there, but he does not have a number, as he played baseball before players began to wear numbers on their uniforms. These players’ names and Hall of Fame players and broadcasters who spent a significant part of their careers with the Tigers are also on a wall in the right-center field. Ernie Harwell, the team’s long-time radio announcer and a recipient of the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award, has a statue inside the stadium on the first base side.
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