10 Never Before Seen Facts on Comerica Park

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10 Never Before Seen Facts on Comerica Park

Comerica Park is one of the league’s greatest Midwest MLB fields every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Tigers stadium opened in 2000 and hosted the All-Star Game in 2005. Any Detroit fan that bleeds Tigers orange will know every information possible, from the team playing in the 2012 World Series to Michael Fulmer winning the Rookie of the Year trophy in 2016. However, there are new Comerica Park facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Comerica Park below!

10: The Huge Tiger Statue at the Main Entrance Wore a Red Wings Jersey

Whenever a local sports team makes a deep postseason run, the entire city usually rallies behind that club. For example, some businesses would post “Go Team” signs on their windows wishing them good luck. Another example is that citizens would wear the team’s colors, especially at work or school, in support of them. But for Comerica Park, the stadium decided to go above and beyond when it comes to supporting another local club in the playoffs. Well, that’s what happened during the Detroit Red Wings’ championship season. 

When the Red Wings were playing in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals against the Penguins, Comerica Park was sporting a different look. Really, the real change at the time was a huge tiger statue located in front of the main entrance. To show pride for their local hockey team, the Tigers decided to have the huge tiger statue wear a Red Wings jersey. Normally, the downtown statue Spirit of Detroit wears the Red Wings jerseys during the playoffs, but it was being remodeled at the time. Eventually, the Red Wings won the 2008 Stanley Cup in six games and the huge tiger statue wore the jersey again during the 2014 NHL Winter Classic

9: Eminem has Played More Shows at Comerica Park than Anyone Else

Usually, it is common practice for MLB stadiums to host live concerts. In fact, there are teams that previously hosted big-name performances. Those teams were the following: Brewers, Guardians, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Royals, Pirates, and many more. Concerts can vary with either a post-game event or just a stand alone performance during the off-season. But did you know that rapper Eminem has played more shows at Comerica Park than anyone else? And that doesn’t count singing at National Anthems or having themed nights. 

The Detroit-native has played the following years at the Motor City: 2005, 2010, and 2014. In addition, the rapper has performed a total of five shows during that nine-year span. Along with Eminem, other high-profile artists have played at the ballpark like Journey, Jimmy Buffett, and Zac Brown Band. In the three years when Eminem played at Comerica Park, he collaborated with other artists such as 50 Cent and Rihanna

8: A Piece of Concrete Fell from the Upper Deck Following a Tigers Contest

Accidents and injuries can happen to anyone everywhere, especially at baseball stadiums. For instance, two wooden panels from the top level fell on several fans at the then-SkyDome in 1995. Another example is that a scaffolding structure collapsed from the second deck during a mid-2000s renovations project at Fenway Park. In the late 1990s, three construction workers were killed when a towering blue crane collapsed on the formerly-named Miller Park. But believe it or not, there was a major stadium accident that happened at Comerica after the game. 

In August 2015, the Tigers had just lost their matinee contest to the Texas Rangers 4-2. Everything appeared to be normal when fans at Comerica Park started heading towards the exit gates. Then all a sudden, several pieces of fist-sized concrete fell from the upper deck. Those chunks landed in the first floor concourse where the majority of the spectators were walking in. Fortunately, nobody suffered any injuries and the area where the pieces were found was blocked off for safety reasons. Eventually, the upper deck area was fixed and there haven’t been any more similar accidents since. 

7: A Wild Goose Ran on the Field During a Tigers Game at Comerica Park

Perhaps the only thing that can delay a baseball game, other than bad weather, is animal interference. Interestingly, the sport has a history of unwanted guests invading outdoor stadiums. For example, a Rockies game in Denver was delayed in the 2010s due to a swarm of bees flying near the home team’s dugout. Also, fans had to be evacuated from the left field seats during a game at Dodger Stadium in the late 2000s. However, the most interesting animal inference in MLB history belongs to the wild goose at Comerica Park. 

During a Tigers/Angels game in May 2018, a Canadian Wild Goose was spotted on the field. Luckily, the bird didn’t interfere with play since the contest was in a weather delay. During the sixth inning, the goose went loose by flying across the baseball field and waddling on the infield dirt. The bird looked like it was trying to fly out of the stadium before it bonked its head on the 3rd base side video board. Eventually, the Tigers issued a statement that the goose had left the ballpark without any major injuries

6: A Soccer Match Made an Ultra-Rare Appearance at Comerica Park

In the past, baseball stadiums have hosted other sporting events that had nothing to do with baseball. Since the 2010s, the NHL has hosted some of its Winter Classic games at ballparks like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. During the 1950s, the Harlem Globetrotters® played a professional baseball contest at Dodger Stadium. Even bowling made its way to the ballpark as the four-lane championship was played at the then-Miller Park in the mid-2000s. But did you know that a soccer match made an ultra-rare appearance at Comerica Park. 

In July 2017, the Tigers ballpark served as the home for a soccer game from the International Champions Cup. The one-of-a-kind event featured two of the most popular clubs in Europe: Paris Saint-Germain (France) and Roma (Italy). Over 36,000 spectators were in attendance to see two powerhouse soccer teams battle it out at Comerica Park. Paris went on to defeat Roma 1-1, but 5-3 on penalty kicks. Just for the record, penalty kicks take place when a soccer match is tied up after regulation during the playoffs.

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5: Tigers Ballpark Used to Have an In-Play Flag Pole in Center Field

The old Tiger Stadium will always be a part of the Detroit sports community in spirit. The now-demolished ballpark saw the baseball team win four World Series championships in 1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984. Best of all, Tiger Stadium was the home for the Detroit club for over 85 years from 1912 until 1999. Perhaps the most remembered feature at the old ballpark was the in-play flag pole located in centerfield. If any ball ever landed on that pole, then the play would have been considered a base hit

When the Tigers moved to their downtown stadium in 2000, they decided to incorporate the feel of Tiger Stadium into the playing surface. For the first couple seasons, Comerica Park had an in-play flag pole located in a similar spot as their former home. Then, in 2003, the flag pole moved to the bullpen area following the team’s decision to pull the fences toward the outfield. By the way, the Tigers were not the only club to have an in-play foul pole in their stadium. Until 2017, Minute Maid Park in Houston had a similar feature as part of the defunct Tal’s Hill in centerfield. 

4: The Bullpens for Both Teams were Previously Located in Right Field

Over the past 30 years, MLB stadiums have made changes to their bullpen. For instance, Camden Yards became the first big league park to implement a two-story bullpen for home and visiting teams. During the 2010s, Oracle Park in San Francisco relocated its bullpens from each of the foul territories to behind the outfield wall. Also during that time, the Cubs made a similar decision on their bullpens at Wrigley Field. But did you know that when Comerica Park opened in 2000, the bullpens were located at right field and not left field? 

During the current stadium’s first years of operation, both visitors and home bullpens sat in right field. However, in 2005, Comerica Park made significant changes to the outfield. First and foremost, the bullpens were relocated to left field so that additional seating sections would be built in right field. Another thing to point out is that the stadium brought in the fences at left field in order to create more home runs. As we mentioned earlier, the in-play flag pole became part of the bullpens at left field. 

3: The Two Prowling Tigers on Top of Video Board are Actually Scorekeepers

At some MLB ballparks, they can have unique ways to showcase the scores or plays from a baseball game. For example, the “Minnie & Paul” sign in centerfield at Target Field would light up for every Twins home run or victory. At Camden Yards, the outfield video board’s “The Sun” sign flashes “H” for every hit and “E” for every fielding error. In Anaheim, the highway “Big A” sign lights up the halo feature for each Angels win. But believe it or not, the two prowling tigers on top of the left field jumbotron are actually scorekeepers. 

During the course of a baseball game at Comerica Park, fans need to pay close attention to the left field video board. Whenever a Tigers player hits a home run, the prowling tigers’ eyes flash in green. In addition, those features make a prowling tiger noise for each Detroit long ball. Just for the record, those tigers aren’t animatronics and they don’t move. Anyone who comes to Comerica Park would enjoy the flashing tiger eyes following home runs from Tigers greats like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Magglio Ordonez. 

2: Tigers Ballpark has the Most Unique Baseball Field in the Big Leagues

Baseball fans and sports spectators in general find something interesting in the many stadiums they visit. If they go to Wrigley Field, they find piles of green ivy covering the entire outfield wall. Also, Coors Field in Denver has a geyser area in center field that shoots up water for every Rockies home run. Even Angel Stadium has a rock structure located in the outfield with water flowing through it. But for Comerica Park, the Tigers ballpark has the most unique playing field in the big leagues. Now, many fans are wondering: why Comerica Park?

The playing field for the current stadium has some things not many ballparks have anywhere else. First, Comerica Park is notable for having a line of dirt between the pitcher’s mound and home plate. By the way, Chase Field used to have such a feature before 2019. However, the Rocket City Trash Pandas use one in their Alabama stadium. Second, Comerica Park has a home plate area where the dirt region is shaped like a home plate diamond instead of the usual circular shape. The Tigers ballpark is a great sight to see for the baseball faithful on and off the field. 

1: Before Comerica Park, the Land Used to be a Law School

In the past, baseball stadiums had some interesting construction stories regarding the land they sit on. Fenway Park occupies the property formerly used by a garbage landfill, while Progressive Field sits on the former food marketplace site. Dodger Stadium’s land was originally going to be used for a housing project, while Minute Maid Park takes over the land previously owned by a train station. But before Comerica Park opened its doors, the Motown stadium used to be a law school. 

Opened in the 1930s, the Detroit College of Law was located where the current stadium’s outfield concourse sits to this day. Nearly one century later, the school became part of the Michigan State University lineup and built a new law facility in East Lansing. But in the late 1990s, the Tigers were looking for a new ballpark after playing in the aging Tiger Stadium. Detroit picked the law school site and the building was demolished to make way for Comerica Park. 

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