Detroit Tigers: TigerFest or Star Wars?


Today, TigerFest tickets went on sale. I was one of the fortunate few to get enough to take my family. This triggered a conversation with a colleague about the great events coming this winter. In the conversation, that colleague asked me if I’m more excited to go to TigerFest or to see the new Star Wars movie? I was unable to answer the question.

Sep 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Darth Vader holds ups a baseball before the game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

One of my favorite days at the ballpark is Star Wars Day. In the past couple of years, I’ve been able to catch one at Comerica Park and another at U.S. Cellular with the Detroit Tigers facing the Chicago White Sox. I know Chewbacca is just a guy in a suit, but I still make sure I get a baseball card with his scribbled signature on it. The music, costumes, and giveaways are like no other when Star Wars comes to town. The JumboTron features the players in their alter-ego Star Wars gear. The only thing that would make the day even better is if each team had to put a Star Wars character in the #9 spot for just one inning. (Imagine Darth hitting a sac bunt or Chewie knocking it over the fence).

Star Wars day pairs two of my favorite forms of entertainment. Whoever decided to pair Star Wars and baseball was brilliant. And now, in the course of a few small weeks, fans can be entertained by the newest Star Wars movie and by the event of the season: TigerFest!

The TigerFest went on sale at 10:00 am Eastern Time. They were sold out within 30 minutes. For $28 per adult and $14 for children 12 and under. The event is on January 23, 2016. Attendees get to tour the clubhouse, the visitor dugout, the press box, and the executive offices. Tigers players, like Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, will be signing autographs. The team will be offering clinics and discussions about the game. Over the years, TigerFest has become a fan-focused treat.

Winter events like this perfectly bridge the gap between the November playoffs and the first Spring Training game. Once the Winter Meetings are completed and the last free agent has signed, baseball teams need to keep their fans continually engaged. The Tigers marketing staff has figured out how to do it. Fans travel from all over the state and around the country to meet their favorite Tigers and stomp off the snow inside of the CoPa.

As a tween in 1984, I fell in love with the Detroit Tigers. But, in 1977, George Lucas captured my heart and my imagination. Like other life-long fans of Star Wars, I never imagined that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, or Carrie Fisher would reprise their iconic roles. I was perfectly satisfied with attending Star Wars days at the park.

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Even though Star Wars has been in my life longer than the Tigers, I can safely say that I’m slightly more excited to meet Brad Ausmus, Jordan Zimmermann, James McCann, Omar Vizquel, and whoever else shows up. But, I would be even more excited for the event if I knew a C3PO could narrate one of the events on January 23.