Monday, March 31, 2008

Take me out to the ball game!

Detroit Tigers baseball has been a love of mine since I was a little girl, so I couldn’t think of a better way to launch my blog than with a review of Comerica Park on the Detroit Tigers 2008 opening day. It was a dreary, 57 degree day in the motor city, but that didn't stop 44,934 fans (single game record) from coming out to Comerica Park to cheer on their favorite ball club.

The smell of peanuts and beer coupled with the vendors calling out “Hot Dogs, get your hot dogs here” gave me goose bumps as Verlander stepped up to the mound for the first home game pitch of the 2008 baseball season. Unfortunately, the Detroit Tigers lost 4-5 to the Kansas City Royals in 11 innings (the longest opening day since 1960), but as always, it was a great day at the ballpark.

The thing I love about going down to Comerica Park is the fact that people of all different races, religions, genders and ages come together for good old fashion fun. Comerica Park is family-friendly (no profanity allowed for all you potty mouths like me)... there is a Ferris Wheel and a carousel for the kids, food for the hungry, and beer for the thirsty. Oh, and don't forget the furry, orange and black striped mascot, Paws, who strolls the stands making fans smile.

Food. Ball Park Franks and peanuts are a must have when visiting Comerica Park, but I do recommend purchasing the peanuts from the vendors outside the park at the corner of Witherell Street and Adams Avenue. You will only pay $1 instead of the $4 inside the park, not to mention they offer a variety of flavors. Hot dogs and peanuts not your thing? No problem, Comerica Park offers a large selection food - french fries, popcorn, soft pretzels, chips, nachos and cheese, Kielbasa and Bratwurst, sandwiches, gyros, hamburgers, Little Caesars Pizza, ice cream treats, cookies, cotton candy, elephant ears, and much more!

Drinks. This is the one thing I was surprised about when I arrived at the ball park today. Beer is the perfect refreshment to go along with a hot dog and peanuts, and Comerica Park offers a general selection of Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light. The surprise was that, during the off season, Comerica Park changed their beer sizes and price. Now, instead of a 24oz beer for $8, they sell a 16oz can of beer for $6.50 (when you do the math it is seven cents more per ounce of beer, or $1.12 more than what you paid for 16oz of beer last season). The upside: your beer doesn't get warm as fast. If you’re not a beer drinker, you can find margaritas and frozen daiquiris scattered throughout the concourses. Soda, bottled water, coffee and hot chocolate are also available at most concession stands.

Seating. While there is not a bad seat in the house, it all comes down to how much you want to pay. My personal favorite sections with the best bang for the buck are the 300 reserves or the 200 Mezzanine sections. Check out the seating and pricing guide on the Detroit Tigers website for more information.

Tickets. With the Detroit Tigers hoping for a pennant race this 2008 season, tickets can be expensive and hard to come by. In addition to purchasing tickets directly from the Detroit Tigers Website, you can also search for tickets on Stub Hub and eBay. If you are looking to take the kids down to Comerica Park, Sunday day games are the most family-friendly with events like kids run the bases and kids take the field. Check out the promotion schedule for other giveaways. Are you looking for a cheap ticket? Try to find tickets to an interdivision game (Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, or Minneapolis Twins) or to games against other teams we play often. Finally, you could always take your chances and purchase your tickets on the spot from a scalper, but you’ll pay a premium.

Parking. The only thing I can recommend here is to tell you don't get ripped off. $30 is way too much to pay for parking and usually these are the lots closest to the ball park. You might not think that is so bad, but the closer you are to Comerica Park, the farther you are from the expressway, and the longer it takes you to get home. My favorite place to park is Ford Field. It averages $15, it is only about 4 blocks from Comerica Park, and it is right off I-75. To get there simply follow I-75 south and stay left onto 375. Take the Madison Avenue exit on the left and stay to your right – the Ford Field parking deck will be right there, you can't miss it.

Even if you are not a die-hard baseball fan like me, I strongly encourage you to take trip down to Comerica Park to see the Detroit Tigers work their magic on the field. Get some friends together for a day or night game and I guarantee you will have a fabulous time. Keep an eye out for future blogs on place to go around Comerica Park.

A Detroit blog without sports? Craziness. Will this blog be all about sports? Absolutely not! With Detroit found to be
America's most miserable city by Forbes in January 2008, I felt compelled as a Detroiter to share my love for this great city with the hope to inspire more people to visit Detroit. Here's the thing: Detroit is not America's most miserable city; rather, it is a city full of life, excitement and great stuff to do. So, whether you are from Michigan or are just visiting, I hope the restaurant, bar, club, sport and entertainment reviews in this blog inpire you to get out and go Detroit!