Chilling at TigerFest

by billfer on January 21, 2007 · 9 comments

in Fan Experience

The Tigers took a big gamble this year by moving TigerFest to Comerica Park. Things were looking up with a generally mild winter, right up until this cold snap. While the event was a smashing success from a ticketing standpoint, most reviews suggest that if you’re going to host 12,000 people in January, an outdoor venue might not be the place to do it.

As I mentioned earlier, tickets sold out before I bought so I’m working off of what others have said. Reader Dave emailed to say that the cold didn’t bother him, but the event was very disorganized. He did however get a picture with Magglio Ordonez and the AL Championship trophy so his day wasn’t a total loss. But he conceded that while he was able to take his son to last year’s event at Joe Louis Arena, it just wasn’t possible with this year’s setup.

A thread at Motown Sports corroborated the congestion, and there were also complaints about the cold temperature. Despite attempts to keep areas heated, I imagine with the outside temperatures combined with the in-out of each area it was too much for portable heaters to handle. For those with young children the cold was probably prohibitive.

As for the complaints about the lines, well that is going to happen with that many people. There were complaints about the way that autographs worked, as there are every year. They were done with 6 stations with players changing every hour – but you didn’t know who was going to be where when. This is done to evenly spread the lines across the six stations, and with lines running more than hour it wouldn’t make that much of a difference if you knew anyways.

But that’s not to say it was an awful experience. From the Copa went and had an enjoyable time, and he took some pictures.

I give the Tigers credit for trying to pull this off, and I think the intentions were in the right place. But by all accounts they need a bigger indoor venue for next year. If they’ve outgrown Joe Louis Arena, then perhaps Ford Field might be a better option.

 
 

{ 9 comments }

zorak163 January 21, 2007 at 10:22 pm

I was there. You can see some of my pictures here. It was more fun last year.

Chris January 22, 2007 at 10:39 am

Ford Field sounds a good idea. I guarentee it will not be in use next January!!

ivantopumpyouup January 22, 2007 at 4:57 pm

I went, and enjoyed myself. The cold didn’t really bother me too much, but it *was* really cold. And it was pretty congested. I like the idea of hosting it at Ford Field.

Chris in Nashville January 23, 2007 at 4:54 pm

In something completely unrelated to this topic…for us Tigers fans outside of the Detroit area…it appears that MLB and DirectTV have signed a 7 year deal to be the exclusive carrier of the Extra Innings Package. As a die hard Tigers fan, I’ve gotten this package (over $150 every time) for the last 4 years. I LOVE it. But I don’t have DirectTV and don’t want it because it is TERRIBLE. What a BS move on the part of MLB to do this. My summer is ruined if I can’t watch the Tigers play..ESPECIALLY this upcoming season. I’m crushed.

Chris January 25, 2007 at 9:54 am

FAO Chris in Nashville

Living in Canada, we don’t get Tigers games or an mlb package (even though I can look out of my window and see the Detroit skyline!). Try mlb.tv – the quality is pretty good, and you will see every game. Any game not covered by FSN Detroit, you will pick up from the oppositions coverage. It cost me $14.99 per month last season and was money well spent.

Chris in Nashville January 25, 2007 at 2:27 pm

I will get MLB.TV if this goes through…but watching a game on a 17″ computer screen and watching on a 36″ TV is a big difference. A friend of mine had MLB.TV and I thought the picture quality wasn’t that great.
But the main point is why the hell is MLB trying to segment off a huge portion of fans? 750,000 people bought the extra innings package last year and of those only around 200,000 were on DirectTv…so that is over 500,000 people that either have to switch over to DirectTv or just won’t get it anymore (like I won’t). An article on Yahoo Sports put it best…..a 7 year $700 deal works out to be about $3 million a team a year….why would MLB take their product away from 500,000 fans for that amount? $3 million to these teams is NOTHING. But hopefully they will wise up and realize it’s better to release your product to the largest number of people possible. I’ve had DirectTv and it is TERRIBLE, the only reason why they are doing this and have the NFL Sunday Ticket is because they are getting it handed to them by cable companies who offer a better product in the first place. This has really struck a nerve with me if you couldn’t tell!

Joey the K January 25, 2007 at 7:26 pm

I”m with you guys, this is a stupid move and really makes me mad. I’m looking at their website and to get the HD/DVR box costs $199. Now if this was my only cost I might be ok with it, but I would still have to pay $9.99/month for HD and $4.99 for the DVR. A)Thats $5 more than I’m paying with cable and b) with cable I don’t have to pay anything for the HD/DVR box. What a dumb decision. I have been getting MLBEI for about 4-5 years and LOVE it. I’ve seen the bad Tigers years and I don’t want to miss the good years to come but don’t want Directv either.

To those who have had it, why was it horrible?

Chris in Nashville January 25, 2007 at 9:23 pm

DirectTv first of all makes you sign a contract. Not so with most cable providers. You mentioned some of the extra costs, but also the HD clarity isn’t close to as good as my Comcast box. The normal picture goes in and out as well depending on the weather or if a bird farts. Also, many apartment complexes and condos don’t allow for you to have a dish outside. The customer service is horrible……Do I need to keep going? Cable is so much better but the only way DirectTv is getting subscribers is by having a monopoly on certain services like the NFL Sunday Ticket and now Extra Innings (it appears). But I’m hoping that since there has been such a negative response to this (Keith Olberman on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday, 2 articles on Yahoo and some other online sources I’ve read) that maybe MLB will back out of it. But throw $700 million in their faces and I’m sure they are going to take it. I just hope they realize that the best way to grow the game is to make more readily available.

bmd December 14, 2007 at 8:56 pm

It wasn’t the lines rotating or the 6 autograph stations. It was the cold, the lack of organization, and the overall nasty attitude of the often ill-informed persons working at the park that made this year’s (2007) Tigerfest a waste of time–and money. The way autographs were given ran the same way at the Joe two years ago–smoothly and with little dissatisfaction from those who are smart enough to understand how things operated. We received eight autographs at the 2006 event (including Pudge and Grandy) . We stayed two hours this year, and left with two autographs and the feeling that we had been ripped off. Season ticket holders, who are admitted before the general public, had already clogged the lines before my family entered the park. Tigerfest 2007 was a disaster, except for those who never met a player up close. Save your money, and attend a signing at a local store. If nothing else, the darned building is heated!!!

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