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Comerica Park is a baseball stadium located in downtown Detroit, Michigan. It was constructed as a replacement for the popular, but aging, Tiger Stadium for the Detroit Tigers. It is located next door to Ford Field, the new home of the Detroit Lions and near Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings. The park is also featured briefly in the movie Driven, as well as several rap videos.
Groundbreaking for a new ballpark to replace Tiger Stadium for the Detroit Tigers was held on October 29, 1997 and the new stadium was opened to the public in 2000. The new stadium is part of a downtown revitalization plan for the city of Detroit.
In December 1998, Comerica Bank agreed to pay $66 million over 30 years for the naming rights for the new ballpark.
Prior to the 2005 MLB season, the bullpens were moved from right field to an empty area in left field created when the fence was moved in. In place of the old bullpens in right field, 950 seats were added for a new capacity of 40,950.
Comerica Park hosted the 2005 MLB All-Star Game and its related activities. On July 11, 2005 Comerica Park hosted the Home Run Derby, in this event Bobby Abreu slammed out 24 home runs in the first round, smashing the old record of 15 (David Ortiz also surpassed the old record by hitting 17) Abreu won the Derby over Tiger Ivan Rodriguez and hit a record 41 homers during the event.
The venerable Tiger Stadium has been a tough act to follow, and many fans have criticized the new ballpark for a variety of reasons, including an upper deck that sits too far from the action compared with the old park, and a too-deep left field area that takes away from enjoyment of the game in this offense-oriented era. The latter was remedied somewhat by installing an inner fence in left, reducing the power alley dimension from 395 feet to 370 feet.
The park also faces south, which allows for a good view of such downtown sights as Wyland's "Whaling Wall" mural on the side of a nearby skyscraper, but also puts the setting sun in the faces of a large percentage of the crowd.
- Outside of the main entrance to the stadium there is a large tiger statue that is approximately fifteen feet in height. There are several other tiger statues throughout the park, including tiger heads with baseball in their mouths lining the brick walls outside of the park and two tigers prowling on top of the scoreboard in left field.
- Whenever the Tigers hit a home run, the eyes on the tiger statues on the top of the left field scoreboard light up. Audio of a tiger roaring is also played by the stadium's disc jockey.
- Also, whenever the Tigers score a run the fountain in center field goes off, shooting water. The water show is also played pre-game and post-game, and can be set to music.
- At the left field concourse there are statues of all of the players whose numbers have been retired by the Tigers (with the exception on Jackie Robinson), including Al Kaline and Hank Greenberg. 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. Also, these players names are on a wall in left center field, to them is added Ernie Harwell, long time Tiger's announcer and Detroit hero.
- The ballpark is located right near Central United Methodist Church. At one point there was a large banner outside of the building that read "Pray here for the Tigers!"