Tiger Stadium served the Detroit Tigers from 1912 to 1999, at one point existing as one of the oldest in-use MLB ballpark in the league. Comerica Park replaced the aged facility, with the Tigers moving in during the year 2000. Construction for Comerica broke ground on October 29th, 1997, with the park officially opening on April 11th, 2000.
Comerica ended up agreeing to pay $66 million for the naming rights to the stadium over the course of 30 years. This facility is owned by the Detroit-Wayne County Stadium Authority, and was part of a revitalization of the downtown core that included Ford Field, which is right next to the ballpark.
At the time of opening, Comerica featured the largest scoreboard in the majors, although newer facilities and renovations have resulted in other ballparks with bigger screens. Dead center is one of the longest home runs in the MLB, with the fence located 420 feet away from home plate. Only Marlins Park and Minute Maid Park have more expansive center field canyons.
Detroit Tigers Stadium
The 2014 edition of the Detroit Tigers won the American League Central division by earning a 45-36 record both at home and on the road, edging out the Royals by a game. The 2015 version of the Tigers sank to the bottom of the division, finishing with a home record that was slightly better than their road record. This ended a streak of four consecutive division titles.
Comerica Park is considered the opposite of Tiger Stadium in terms of a pitcher-friendly versus a batter-friendly environment. While Tiger Stadium was considered a hitter’s park, Comerica is known to be at the exact opposite end of the spectrum as a ballpark that’s extremely friendly to pitchers. However, the fences were moved in after numerous complaints by MLB experts and analysts.
Despite the changes made in an attempt to make the field more offense-friendly, the 2015 MLB Park Factor stats show that Comerica Park is in the bottom five in terms of the rate of runs and home run production and below average for hits. However, doubles production is roughly average while the rate of triples hit trends towards the top of all ballparks.
The center field stands is home to Monument Park, which pays respect to greats such as Hank Greenberg, Ty Cobb and Willie Horton, among other famous Tigers.
Date Opened: April 11, 2000
Construction Cost: $300 million
Architect: Populous; Rockwell Group; SHG Inc.
Ballpark Type: Retro Classic
Capacity Attendance: 41,574
Playing Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
Previous Detroit Tigers Stadiums
Burns Park; Bennett Park; Tiger Stadium
Other Major Events
2005 MLB All-Star Game
The MLB All-Star Game visited Comerica Park on July 12th, 2005, resulting in a 7-5 victory for the American League squad, which held off a late charge by the National League to take the event. The day before, Bobby Abreu broke home run derby records by slamming 24 homers in the first round and finishing with 41 dingers to beat Ivan Rodriguez.
Hockeytown Winter Festival
Comerica Park hosted the run up to the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, in which the Detroit Red Wings faced the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium. Comerica set up a skating rink on the infield and featured games between NHL alumni, OHL and AHL hockey teams.