Detroit Tigers: 3 things Chris Ilitch should do now

Feb 24, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Justin Upton (8) shakes hands with team owner Chris Ilitch as designated hitter Victor Martinez (right) and relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and second baseman Ian Kinsler (back left) look on after unveiling the logo in memoriam of the late team owner Mike Ilitch before a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Justin Upton (8) shakes hands with team owner Chris Ilitch as designated hitter Victor Martinez (right) and relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and second baseman Ian Kinsler (back left) look on after unveiling the logo in memoriam of the late team owner Mike Ilitch before a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Jul 30, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; The hat and glove of Detroit Tigers right fielder Robbie Grossman (8) sits on the ledge of the dugout during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

2- Spruce Up Comerica Park.

For many of us, it’s hard to believe that 2100 Woodward Avenue has been the home of the Detroit Tigers for 22 seasons. I can still see Mark Fidrych running to the Tiger Stadium mound collecting dirt and can hear Ernie Harwell saying “So long, Old Friend” with his voice cracking as I had to wipe the tears away witnessing the end of an era.

When you take a good look at the Stadium, the outside architecture still looks great upon arrival, but there are some warts in the stadium that need to be addressed. The concrete ring inside the ballpark facing the playing field looks worn and dirty. There is some rust in the seating areas and even weeds growing in some unusual places. The center-field fountain, which isn’t much of a fountain, to begin with, has spotty ivy that looks worse than the plants I have to die and then try to revive at home.

The scoreboard has had some pixels out for quite some time. It doesn’t have to be an extensive renovation, but announcing even a minor facelift would create buzz and excitement. I would take that opportunity to also expand upon the weekend after parties they have begun holding again on the Pepsi Picnic porch, which I think is a great idea to help engage the growing 20 something demographic I have seen both at the ballpark and on social media.

Bring in some local DJs and musicians. Have those parties last long into the night. Make going to the game a full night experience for them. I know when I was young the night was just starting when the ballgame ended. The other addition I would make would be a true Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame.

Take the decade displays off the concourse and centralize them in one of the vacant areas of the ballpark. Solicit fans to loan cool items on a rotating basis to be displayed for a certain length of time. The retired names on the wall are automatically placed in the Hall of Fame and yearly elections by the fans could help celebrate the many great Tigers players who aren’t Cooperstown or number retirement worthy but have played a large part in the franchise history.

Beyond being another attraction at the ballpark, it would also bring in another opportunity for merchandising dollars with some fresh new items for fans to purchase and excitement generated on Induction Days. The Miguel Cabrera Milestone Counter is a nice addition but let’s kick it up a notch.