Detroit Tigers: Appreciating the Fans at Comerica Park – A Few Ideas
As the Detroit Tigers are wrapping up their regular season games, this coming weekend will be all about the the fans.
The Detroit Tigers have two home-game series left. The first is a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals that starts on Friday. The final series at home is a four-game series against the Indians. After that, they finish the season off in Atlanta in an interleague pair of games against the Braves.
Fan Appreciation Weekend arrives on Friday, September 23 and ends on Sunday, the 25th. Comerica Bank will be sponsoring the weekend activities and giveaways. This weekend will see random fans winning a variety of prizes. The biggest prizes will the game-worn jersey giveaways on Sunday – the Tigers will literally be giving the jerseys off of their backs to random fans.
As a fan who has attended 30 games at Comerica Park, I’d like to offer my two cents on fan appreciation and the random fan giveaways.
First of all, I think that the people who run the show at Comerica Park do a nice job entertaining fans between the innings. Keeping 30,000 or more people entertained on a regular basis is not an easy thing to do.
I also think the giveaways have been quite nice. My son and I have taken home a few hats, player statuettes, and kid-friendly items, like pencil cases throughout the season.
But, there are a few things I would change. For fans who only attend one or two games per year, the entertainment is amazing. But, after a few more games, it gets quite repetitive. Big League parks should have the budget to change up the between-inning entertainment more often than they do.
Anyone who has been to a Tigers game this season has laughed about the “Ask the Tigers” videos. In this “game” the Tigers were asked a question and their answers were recorded. One fan is selected to pick the answer that the most Tigers chose. Unfortunately, there are only about 10 to 12 questions, so they are rerun several times. I have seen the questions about the favorite cookies and favorite Anchorman characters several times.
The same goes for the other game “Quarter-minute to Win It.” Different Tigers were asked to list as many answers as possible to a question. Then, a fan does the same. The fan automatically gets a prize even if the Tigers player gets more answers. This is another one that needs to have more videos, as the repetition gets old after a while.
I understand that there are 81 home games, but there are enough people around and questions available to create more variety.
Lack of Variety for the Regulars
Every single game has the exact same between-inning entertainment and giveaways. There is always a Michigan Lottery giveaway, a Little Caesars Pizza giveaway, and a Hot Dog Row giveaway. Every game also has a Sunoco giveaway with a trivia question. These companies are very generous to offer so many freebies for Tigers fans, but the way the giveaways are done could have more variety. In each one, rows are selected and the fans wave at the camera.
The other two regular activities between innings are the dance-off and the kiss cam. The dance-off involves two people who have a few seconds to show off specific moves – usually the Running Man, Gangnam Style, and the Carlton. The winner gets a massage and so do the people in his or her row. The kiss-cam usually captures five couples – with the last couple (who is usually sitting behind first base in the Tiger Den) winning the jewelry store prize.
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Get More Fans Involved
The Tigers entertainment crew needs to figure out ways to get more people involved. Out of those 30,000+ people, only about 14 are featured in the games. It isn’t difficult to get more than 14 people involved in picking answers and answering questions. It just takes a little bit of creativity.
Another thing I’d love to see done for the fans is having all of the Detroit Tigers players get more involved in signing autographs before the games. There are a few players (Victor Martinez, Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Verlander, Mike Pelfrey, most of the bullpen) who have never signed an autograph in the 30 games I’ve seen. If the Tigers (and the MLB) are really working hard to keep kids loving baseball, the players need to interact with the kids. Signing autographs is not difficult to do and the kids are so appreciative.
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As a fan who loves to watch the games live, I would love to see more variety between the innings. The Big League entertainment squad should take a look at what the Minor League teams do. If it works for 12,000 fans, it should be simple enough to make it work for 30,000. If the Tigers want to contact me, I’d be happy to share my ideas (but I’m not giving them away for free).