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Throwback Thursday Downtown Detroit

Given the World Series will have concluded by the time (I'm writing this at 1:30 PM on 11/1/17) this road blog gets published I figured this one would be fitting since it involves baseball.  Originally I'm from the city of Detroit and I grew up as Tigers fan and attended countless games at Tigers Stadium.  In fact, I was at the last series at Tigers Stadium in 1999 with my Dad and Grandfather when the Tigers swept the Kansas City Royals.  Despite the Tigers completely sucking in 1999 having lost 92 games it was still an appropriate way to send out the old stadium before it was replaced by Comerica Park.  I didn't move from Michigan to Arizona until 2001 but for some reason I never found time to attend a game at Comerica Park.  By 2010 Comerica Park was already well established and I returned to the city for a family visit.  I actually stayed at the Motor City Casino which ironically had opened back in 1999.  I thought the view was pretty cool with a nice overlook of down town, the M-10/I-75 junction and even Grand River Avenue (former US 16).






I could also see something far more grim out the window as well; the Ruins of Tigers Stadium.  The old stadium had been completely razed by 2009 despite many private interests attempting to save it.  A lot of people blame the former major of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick for Tigers Stadium falling into ruin.  Whether that is true or not I couldn't speculate on but I can understand the suspicion given Kilpatrick is now occupies a cell in El Reno, Oklahoma.  Regardless the city of Detroit had already been going through hard times and they were only going to get worse in the years following my 2010 visit.  On a brighter note I could also see Michigan Avenue (US 12) and the Ambassador Bridge south where Tigers Stadium once stood.





Comerica Park is located on M-1/Woodward Avenue (former US 10) across from the Fox Theater.  I thought the new stadium really was in the perfect spot for some awesome views of downtown.  There was some nice tributes to Tiger's players of old in the outfield with statues and plaques.  Ford Field had opened a couple years after Comerica and I still haven't attended a Lions game there to date (oddly the Lions played a lot of games in Phoenix in the 2000s).  Really though at the end of the day despite the downtown setting and cool motif near the Fox things just aren't the same.






 
Tigers Stadium was a dump but it also had charm that can't be replaced by a newer structure.  Despite some of the shitty sight lines and highly questionable neighborhood you were right on top of the game.  I've never been to another Major League Stadium anywhere else of any vintage that had you so close to the actual game.  I might swing through downtown Detroit now and then but things will never be quite the same.  The city of Detroit post bankruptcy seems to be finally trying to embrace it's history rather than rip it to the ground.  If the Packard Plant has hope to survive then Tigers Stadium certainly could have too, but that's my opinion and it is too late now. 



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