May 20th, found me waking at the crack of dawn to head from Tampa to Detroit and Comerica Park (http://tinyurl.com/7d7eccb)!
I hadn’t heard anything about the park, so I didn’t have any pre-set expectations and/or notions. In absence of a metro system or efficient shuttle service, I hopped a taxi and headed to the park. I arrived shortly before 11:30 a.m. and encountered a line (which I thought was for “will call”), but was for the front gate. The park didn’t open until exactly 90 minutes before game time.
So, I was able to enter with the eager few and…I what I saw IMPRESSED ME!
Unlike The Trop, Comerica was a celebration of baseball with a great layout and creative “amenities” like a merry-go-round with tigers for horses and a ferris wheel with the cups shaped at baseballs. While, these are not truly in keeping with the “purity” of a traditional ballpark, these were tasteful additions with a true smack of “Americana.” What also made them good embellishments was the fact that they were set off from the main concourse near food courts..the many food courts that offered a wide range of fare, and one thing I had never seen…Jose Cuevo read-to-drink margaritas…SCORE! If it couldn’t get any better, it was a Pepsi park – I truly didn’t know what to drink first (but seriously, the margarita won out..three times over)!
With my Pass-Port (http://tinyurl.com/7v2ut3k) in tow, I headed to guest relations, and again, no official stamp to be had. They did their best in using another stamp with a hand-written date, but it was not the same. For my troubles or their shortcomings, Jill from guest services gave me a hat…which I would need later as the sun beat down!
With my hat and margarita in hand, I made my way to my seat…five rows from the visitors’ dugout. I was elated to find out that my seats came with service, and Melissa was quick to “refill” my drink! Dangerous for sure!
For the first time in forever, I departed from my traditional hot dog fare and instead ordered hummus and vegetables – talk about going 180 degrees! I had planned on something more substantial later, but I ran out of time and that was all I ended up consuming! It was tasty, but not very hearty and NOT remotely close to being traditional ballpark food!
There was little not to like about Comerica (with the exception that Justin Verlander was not in the rotation…that was something I didn’t like). Even from the exterior — the tiger heads were a regal welcome and lent themselves in so many ways to the theme of the park (the tiger-go-round…perfect case in point).
Of course, shortly after taking my seat, I befriended “Tim” who was also in pursuit to see all the parks, but wasn’t too eager to finish any time soon. However, he was partial to the parks in CA — AT&T and Petco — and, of course, I couldn’t agree more!
At the 7th inning, we sang God Bless America, Take Me Out to The Ballgame AND the YMCA – their version of “Sweet Caroline” perhaps!
On this hot summer day, the Tigers took on the Pirates and squeezed out a 4-3 win, which made the visit all the more sweet! I hurried out right after the game to catch my plane home and was thrilled with my visit…even the $50 taxi ride didn’t matter! Without question, this was one of my favorite parks to date…and I’ll be back to the Motor City!