Field of Schemes

Letter From Detroit

Except for the filming of 61¤, the upcoming movie about the home-run race between Yankees Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in 1961, there was no action last summer at Tiger Stadium. The Detroit Tigers have ditched their historic home at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull and are entering their second season at their new home, Comerica Park.

Unlike Tiger Stadium, which seated over 50,000, Comerica Park seats roughly 40,000—that including the seating in 100 luxury boxes, 20 more than the franchise said it would have. The team's new home has scarcely a downward angle in the lower deck, making it difficult to see over the heads in the next row. There is also little shade from the sun or shelter from the rain, unless you are in one of the luxury boxes.

There is a Ferris wheel at Comerica Park, visible from southbound 1-75, and a carousel with tigers instead of horses. The new ball park has the biggest scoreboard in the major leagues. There is also parking, but it costs $20, which is more expensive than the very few economy seats available.

All of this might have been easier to accept had the public not been forced into paying much of the $240 million construction cost. Detroit-area reporters have praised Tigers' owner Mike Hitch for covering most of the cost himself, unlike franchise owners elsewhere who practice legal extortion, forcing their hometowns to pay all construction...

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