Off Day Discussion: Thoughts on Comerica Park

by billfer on April 28, 2008 · 52 comments

in Fan Experience

It’s the first day off the Tigers have had in awhile. In the interest of sparking discussion that deviates a little bit from “The Tigers need to bench Gary Sheffield in favor of Brandon Inge” (which given the historical feelings about Inge I find to be a surprising sentiment) I thought we’d talk about the home of the Tigers.

For those of you who have been to Comerica this year, or in year’s past even, what are your thoughts on the place. Give me two: a)Favorite things about the park b)least favorite things about the park c)simple changes that could be made to make it better (I’m not looking for big reconstructions here, actually feasible things).

Favorite Things

  1. The concourse. It’s big. It’s covered (nice in the rain). You can still see the game. It’s something they really got right.
  2. The food selection. You have choices. While some might call it heresy to have anything but a dog, I like being able to get the Mucho Nacho, or a Pulled Pork sandwich in the beer hall.

Least Favorite Things

  1. Disinterested concession employees. I don’t mind lines due to the place being busy. What I hate are lines because the concession workers don’t seem the least bit motivated to get your order quickly. I know every stand isn’t bad, but it seems to be the rule more than the exception. The stand behind section 213 (where I sit) is one of the offenders.
  2. The under-utilization of the scoreboard. It’s better than it was, with more stats being shown. But I look at other places with comparably sized scoreboards and they communicate so much more information. Plus replays are hardly ever shown. The commercial to replay ratio on the video board is very heavily skewed to the former (ergh Chad Johnson from Lady Janes)

Things I’d change

  1. Go back to larger sized beers. I’m willing to pay for more. But the 16oz cans are a joke, especially in the 32oz cups. Bring back the 32oz beer!
  2. Better utilize the scoreboard. It’s touted as one of the biggest. Use it!
 
 

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Ben K April 28, 2008 at 9:44 am

Aw c’mon, Chad Johnson is wicked awesome.

Eric Jackson April 28, 2008 at 9:46 am

I agree Bill. In the latter innings of a game after players have had a number of at-bats already, they elect to put the result of the last N plate appearances instead of stats.

I’d like to always see the players stats and some pitching stats would be nice as well. The only information on opposing pitchers I can see is the ERA.

tiff April 28, 2008 at 9:51 am

I think my favorite things echo yours, Billfer. And the view of the skyline is something I’ll never get sick of. You feel so connected to the city from wherever you are sitting.

RE: the beers – you’re right they are a joke. I have to pay for 2 beers to fill the cup up all the way, and even then I’ve got to down it before it gets warm.

the scoreboard: I’d vote for an HD scoreboard, with more replays, and maybe other sports scores (Pistons, Red Wings..)

jason April 28, 2008 at 10:11 am

I like the fact that you can get in the stadium fairly quickly. There are many entrances and it goes fast. (Compare this to your average UM game, ha!)

I hate walking down from the upper deck on that stupid ramp at the end of the game. People are sooo slow! And it seems you have to walk in like 100 circles to go all the way down. Get those escalators moving in reverse!

As for the scoreboard, I can’t stand the fact that they refuse to replay “controversial” plays. It seems they are overly protective of the umps. It is probably a league guideline, but I think its silly, and takes away from overall experience.

Ryan In Brooklyn April 28, 2008 at 10:30 am

I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing Comerica. An unfortunate side effect of my exile on the East coast. But I can comment on the disinterested (wow – that’s a really, really nice way of putting it) concessions employees. If it makes you feel any better, this seems to be the case everywhere I’ve been. At Yankee Stadium you can probably plan on missing almost a full inning waiting in line The concourse is completely inside, so you’re left watching the game on TV. Ugh.

Rick H. April 28, 2008 at 10:36 am

My favorite thing about Comerica Park is its location. It is conveniently located to many great places to hang out before or after a game. My second favorite thing about the park is it now has its own tradition after the great run in 2006. Prior to ’06, the park had nothing to offer — all the tradition was one mile a way.

My least favorite thing about the CoPa is that you are a long way from the action. Even in the close seats, you’re a ways away. You were on top of the action at Tiger Stadium. Another least favorite thing is the long lines at concessions or bathrooms. Back in the day—you remember, when 8,000 was a good showing—there were no concerns. Opening Day this year … yikes!

What would I do to make it a better park: 1) lower all of the concession prices and 2) get rid of the minor league atmosphere. It’s a major league stadium, the gimmicks and such … need to go. We go to watch the game, not a ferris wheel, a large Tiger, or t–shirt shooters.

Blake April 28, 2008 at 10:44 am

Favorites: Parking. I can park for free on the street and have only a five minute walk to the park. There is parking everywhere and even though there is construction this summer, access to the highways is pretty nice. Covered concourse is super nice, agree with you there.

The big scoreboard is nice but I don’t like how you can’t see info on every at bat the player has had in the game. Also, to the left of the main score board (where they have the interesting little stats) is blocked from many views in the park.

Since I cannot pay $8.50 for a beer, it doesn’t really bother me that they are quite small. It’s annoying the 1 or 2 times a year I buy one, but I just don’t care much about that.

The Tigers have no vegetarian/vegan selection at the concessions. All I can really eat at the ballpark is peanuts and that’s a pretty big market they are excluding. If I could get some vegan snacks or fake burgers of any kind I’d spend like there was no tomorrow. It’s just not an option. I know other parks make this available.

Overall though, it’s a great experience every time. I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the house.

tiff April 28, 2008 at 10:47 am

I’ll second the parking and location and proximity to freeways. I pity all the people who pay $25 to park, when good free street parking surrounds the stadium.

All the bars popping up around the stadium are great to, makes me feel okay about not grabbing a beer in the stadium, and getting one outside for significantly less.

cib April 28, 2008 at 10:54 am

I just love the Park. I consider it my home away from home! But I agree about the scoreboard. It’s big but most of the space is taken up by prepaid ads that are not animated. When I went to Cleveland a couple of years ago I noticed that their graphics were much more extravagant, especially with respect to the player intros.
Speaking of which, they need to correct the spelling of Miguel Cabrera’s NAME on the stats slide that comes up on the left when he bats (not the photo slide). It’s spelled “Caberea”. Has anyone except me noticed?

JML April 28, 2008 at 11:08 am

I like most things about the ballpark. The view of the skyline, the decent food selection (and now, Asian!!) the number of things to do (if you have kids, the merry-go-round etc are a godsend), heck I even like the announcer.

I don’t much care for ballpark food and paraphenlai prices, but I won’t really complain about them–that’s what venues do, make $$ on concessions. Beer size doesn’t bother me either, as I don’t drink. ;-)

But I heartily agree about one thing–the scoreboard. Argh! Put someone new in charge of that, it could be so much better! Cleveland’s is great by comparison. Then again, at least it isn’t as bad as the White Sox’s board. Yeeech!

scotsw April 28, 2008 at 11:11 am

I don’t have a problem with the carousel or Ferris Wheel. Obviously, 30,000 people aren’t going to go on the rides every day — The point of those things is to entertain the smaller kids, who aren’t going to be riveted to 3 hours of baseball. Just be thankful that there are some diversions available for them, so we don’t have to watch those meltdowns in the seventh inning. But more than that, I think those things help make the park seem alive. I have a 27-game plan, and told my dad as we arrived for Friday’s match-up, that I still get excited before every game — and I’m 33! The atmosphere is a big part of the reason.

My favorite things: 1) The skyline. Can’t beat it. 2) Let’s have a minute for the underappreciated bathrooms. I’m sure there are times when there are lines, but it’s rare. And there’s lots of them for a ballpark.The reality is that the rest rooms near my section (321) are clean, warm, efficient and bright. And you can hear Dan and Jim just fine in there. It’s not that I love the bathrooms — but it’s something a lot of places get wrong. An awful john is sure way to ruin the experience. So props to the Tigers for making the effort.

Least favorite things:
1) Ads, ads, ads. The visual pollution on the outfield walls is bad enough (screams ‘minor league!!’) but the super-loud in-game TV commercials are really offensive. After paying for the ticket, the food, and the parking (and Ilitch has a hand in all three of those tills), being the recipient of such unpleasant violence really ticks me off. Between-innings is supposed to be a quiet part of the rhythm of the game. All the loud ads kind of burn you out.

2) Food quality. Cotton candy in shrink-wrap? I know there are a lot of choices, but I’ve had 2 hot dogs this year. Both were cold. This is not a complicated food to prepare. You cook it. You keep it warm in a steamy bin. You slap it in a bun. It’s like 35 cents worth of food, and they charge $3.50. I get the racket here — I’m willing to pay for tradition. But it had damned well better be a HOT dog. At least the pizza is made in a real pizza oven. Get the pizza.

2a) The scoreboards are hard to read. Yeah, I know they’re huge. But I think better graphic design and layout would help a great deal. Is it necessary to have the entire batting order displayed at all times? And did you ever try to make out the out-of-town scoreboard? It’s just a jumble of numbers and abbreviations.

Changes:
1) No video ads. They make me seethe with hatred toward the advertisers, so they’re counter-productive anyway.
2) Better food. I’m willing to pay the ransom prices if the food is decent. It’s not the ingredients — it’s the prep and service that’s an issue.

Jeff M April 28, 2008 at 11:23 am

The Tigers have no vegetarian/vegan selection at the concessions.

Talk to Guest Services. They may let you order off the Tiger Den menu, which I’m sure has a larger selection.

Kyle J April 28, 2008 at 11:31 am

This is more on the sentimental side than the practical side, but my favorite aspect of Comerica is the statues. I never get sick of walking around the outfield concourse and staring up at them. To me, the palpable sense of history is what sets baseball apart from other sports.

Thing I’d change: At some point, they need to find a way to put statues up of Whitaker and Trammell turning a double play. I note next year is the 25th anniversary of the 1984 championship . . .

Kathy April 28, 2008 at 11:41 am

Favorites: Bathroom close by, view of the skyline, the tiger head sculptures.

Least favorites: use of the scoreboard and sound effects/music (too stale imo and I’m not exactly a youngster), lack of variety at the concessions, price of beer is awful

tiff April 28, 2008 at 11:48 am

scotsw, agreed. a friend of mine who doesn’t attend games often went wednesday night and said the whole thing felt like a big adverstiement, between all the commercial breaks and ads all over the place.

Ryan April 28, 2008 at 11:49 am

Blake,

Not sure if you’re aware, but you are allowed to bring in your own food. I enjoyed a nice box of strawberries last night, making the game marginally less sucky. Not really. But I do like me some strawberries.

Quibbles with CoPa:
* Beer selection. Miller Park offers, at a couple of carts throughout the stadium, a selection of WI based microbrews (Leinie’s, Point, Sprechers’s, etc.). I would love to have that option here with MI based brews.
* Full agreement with everyone about scoreboards.
* I like the CF fountain, but feel that it is underused. I’m not really sure how I’d like it used, but its seems like it could become the stadium’s trademark, i.e. Cubs flags, Brewers slide, Mets apple, etc.

What I love:
* Stadium full of good seats with great sight lines.
* Bathrooms plentiful and well maintained.
* Tiger roar when runs score.
* Allowing food and water into the stadium.
* View of the skyline.
* Radio feed in the bathrooms. Great for when you can’t figure out an injury or an umpires’ conference.

I must say, when all of the problems with the stadium are game presentation related and none are related to the physical stadium itself, they did a darn good job.

Ian C. April 28, 2008 at 11:57 am

Most of my thoughts will echo those that have already been expressed, but I don’t think I truly appreciated Comerica Park until I started to visit some of the other newer ballparks around baseball. And I found that many of the things I enjoyed about those stadiums were also offered in Detroit.

1) The concourse. I love being able to walk around the field before the game and see everything from different vantage points.

2) The location. If you take a road trip, just going to the ballpark and leaving feels unfulfilling. Getting a taste of the city is always nice.

3) Team history. The statues and displays are a wonderful way to learn about the Tigers, and a great conversation piece if you attend a game with someone who hasn’t been as much of a fan.

But as others including Bill have said, I don’t like the scoreboard, both in terms of its placement and use of space. So much wasted potential.

And maybe this is more a product of Detroit, but I wish the food and drink menu had something more distinct to the area on it. Maybe it does, and I just haven’t seen it. But there doesn’t seem to be anything offered that you can’t also have someplace else.

SJC in Detroit April 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Favorites — everything Bilfer said, plus the view of the skyline. On bathrooms, the upper deck ones have shorter or non-existent lines, even when the lower deck ones are bad — last night was an example.
Least favorites — I don’t mind the advertising but I wish they’d turn down the volume — tough when I have to wait until the game starts to have a conversation.
Things to change — here’s where I’d put the scoreboard — just a missed opportunity — even just pulling the stats from the preview on mlb.com that Bilfer links to and putting them on the board would be better.
And has the part of the crowd that’s just there to get smashed increased this year? I know it’s not a chapel and I usually miss an inning or two wandering the Park with my six year old but it seems like there are more people who have no interest in the game. And does that explain the couple instances of fans running on the field already this year? Or am I just getting old and cranky? Well, I know the answer to the old part…

Craig M April 28, 2008 at 12:42 pm

There is a lot to love and like, much of which has already been said. One unique thing about the CoPa that many other parks don’t have is the ability to go completely around it and stay in the park.

Dislikes:
1. If you are in an end seat with an aisle between you and the plate, people are always in front of your view due to the low profile and large lower tier sections.

2. Get rid of the J.Geils Band’s “Centerfold” organ music. I can’t stand that!!!

3. I wish there was more merchandise of all the teams. You go to Cleveland or Seattle and you can get a hat, possibly a shirt of all the teams. They even have some throwback stuff.

Brian P April 28, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Favorites: Mine are memory related. I attended Comerica Park for the first time in 2000. My little league team had won the county playoffs, so we got to go out on the field, have our trophies handed to us by Bobby Higginson, and see our names on the score board. I was even fortunate to catch a “home run” during batting practice.

Least Favorites: I’m glad the Tigers are a popular team in Detroit now, but some of the patrons (as SJC sort of mentioned) are morons. Ever since 2006, it’s become a popular option for people to attend the game when they have nothing better to do. Some of my fellow 21 year old friends, who have never shown an interest in baseball their entire lives, will now go in bunches — simply looking for a scenic place to drink. I’m sure these are the same people who insist on chanting “Let’s go Red Wings” when victory is out of reach. Ugh.

Changes: The bullpen location. What an eye-sore. I sat in left field before it was moved, and it was wonderful to be right by the warning track and the outfielder. I agree that left field needed to be brought in, but the bullpen could have gone in center field, and more seats could have been put in left.

BaseballinDC April 28, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Beer size creates problems with fan behavior. The rest of the league is moving away from the 32oz size (nearly three cans) because of this. I don’t think we’ll see this coming back (which I view as a positive as someone who thinks 24 oz per game is plenty).

drew April 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Love the skyline and the open feel of the place. You’re not as close in the good seats as at Tiger Stadium, but there isn’t a terrible seat in the house.

Michigan brews are a great idea. I think they went a little overboard on all the statutes on the outside of the park. Not sure the tiger w/ glowing eyes is going to age well; same for all the bats and some of the other stuff outside.

Overall, it’s a great place. I sympathize with people who wish it was in Corktown but the stadium/theater area is really a great place today thanks to Mr. Ilitch’s decision (and the city’s willingness to give him everything he wants). Detroit is better for it.

Jenius April 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm

I’ll second that, Craig! “Centerfold” is on the top of my list of annoying stadium songs that need to be retired. The Car Wash is probably #2. Moronic songs, long since played-out, and does it inspire ANYONE to clap? Oh, yeah. The morons. Granted, since I’m exiled to games at Dodger Stadium and Angels Stadium of Los Anaheim, the ratio of morons may be much higher here. But I’m glad to see I’m not the only one ready to retire those songs. I’d rather hear a stadium organ in their place.

I have yet to visit Comerica, but it’s nice to hear a few reviews. I just hope nobody takes for granted the charm of the Tiger Stadium rest rooms. “Ty Cobb peed here” and whatnot.

Jim April 28, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Blake: I believe behind the 130 sections there’s some stands set up with different food, I seem to remember seeing fruit salad and such.

Andrew April 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm

I like CoPa a lot, but I’ve gotta say, I don’t quite understand the knock on the CWS scoreboard. I think it’s utilized better than Comerica’s. They really need to install some HD screens and upgrade how they run the scoreboard. Going all digital and updating the graphics (and getting rid of that LOUD annoying Lady Jane’s commercial) would go a long way towards making it the best scoreboard in MLB. A lot of unfulfilled potential there.

I went to a game at Fenway last year, and I’ve got to say the in-between inning singing of “Sweet Caroline” really creates a cool atmosphere and unifies the fans. I think it would be very cool if the Tigers developed a tradition like that, because there’s not much that goes on other than “Take me out to the ballgame” (and the wave, ugh…). They should play “Don’t stop Believing” by Journey or something. Good song to sing along to, and some Detroit related lyrics. I don’t know, just a thought. Might not make any sense if you haven’t been to Fenway and seen the “Sweet Caroline” thing.

I have to agree with all those saying the beer variety is lacking too. It would be awesome if they got a few more microbrews available in CoPa (Bells and Michigan Brewing Company coem to mind).

Other than those few things – and if they upgraded the scoreboard in HD alone, I’d be placated – I really like seeing games at CoPa. The concourse, the Tiger roar, the statues of former players, the statues of Tigers, the skyline view, the sightlines pretty much anywhere in the park, and the fact that the team is actually pretty good…There’s a lot to like about it. Fix up a few things and it could be the best park in MLB.

Matt April 28, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Reading through everyone’s reviews has helped me realize that there are quite a few things I take for granted in the park. Dan and Jim on the radio in the bathrooms is a perfect example — a simple touch that goes a long way, often overlooked, but definitely appreciated.

I also like the wide concourses. I don’t think I have found myself “shuffling” through the crowd at a standstill during any Tigers game like I would at the Palace or Joe. Really irritating when it happens, but overlooked when it doesn’t.

I really only have two gripes with Comerica Park.

1. The park needs to go digital. Comerica Park was born just before the high-definition age really exploded, and it painfully shows. By comparison, just check out pictures from the new park in D.C. and compare it to what we’ve got here in Detroit. It’s almost embarrassing. We’ve got one tiny color screen in left, dwarfed by tens of huge 30-foot ads.

The screens lining the upper deck were a start, and the LCD board in right-center is a great next step, but we need a nice 90+ square foot HD LCD board in left field. The vintage feel of the tri-color display (with old school animations after big plays) is nice from a vintage point of view, but the information displayed on it suffers from its limitations. Save the vintage animations for the board on the far left.

2. I appreciate the food that Comerica has to offer, but I wish that more of it was available in the “portable” walk-up stations within the concourse as opposed to within the restaurants exterior to the action. I like to come to the park and eat while watching the game… not eat, THEN watch the game. I suppose there are semantic issues with this, and it would probably cause longer lines, but I think the park would benefit from a refresh of their concourse menus.

There are all sorts of other gripes I could come up with (the quality and price of food/beer, the lines, the morons) but I think that just comes with the territory of any sporting event in America.

I love Comerica, and the area surrounding it (which continues to improve). Just do something about that ad-board in left field!!

Tbone April 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Favorites: As a parent of a couple of young ones, I happen to appreciate the Ferris Wheel and Merry-go-Round. In fact, the child centered promotions are all great and help foster a love for the game in their own way. These are future season-ticket hoders. I also love the little and not-so-little architectural deails such as the Tiger heads and baseballs everywhere. And I have to throw in a vote for the historical displays, statues and respect for the team’s past found throughout the stadium.

Least Favorites: The Upper Deck. I know this is an old bit, but anyone fortunate enough to have spent any significant time in an unobstructed view seat anywhere in the Upper Deck of Tiger Stadium knows what I’m talking about. Comerica’s upper deck is sterile and cold and so damn far away as to make you feel you are watching the game in a different stadium.

Changes: Seconding others on the shrink wrap cotton candy, replays and scorboard stats.

Matt April 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

RE: The Lady Janes commercial

I have to assume this is almost an inside joke now. The commercial was by far the loudest thing to come out of the PA system last year… and somehow, it’s even louder this year. Someone on the inside must have felt like toying with the inevitable multiple complaints received about it and decided to jack the volume up a few more notches.

Nothing even comes close.. even the game-related announcements and Tiger roar. Amazing.

Blake April 28, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Can you really bring food into the park? A week or so ago I had some peanuts in my pocked and a water bottle up my sleave and one of the ushers asked me if I had anything in my pockets, I lied and got past. Still, I feel like I’m heading into a movie theatre.

Can someone verify that you can bring food in with you?

Andrew April 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm

CoPa could use another World Series Flag, too.

Matt April 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm

@Blake: Yes, you can bring food in with you. Just make sure to use common sense. It’s sort of an unwritten rule, so your mileage may vary. Anything contained within glass isn’t allowed. Other things like sealed pop cans or bottles, sealed water bottles, and any type of liquor (obviously) isn’t allowed.

Sam April 28, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Favorite Things:

1) The Stadium has an awesome open feeling and you can circle the whole thing. The Tiger Den Lounge, Tiger Club, Beer Hall, Ferris Wheel, and Merry Go Round add to a festive atmosphere that you don’t/can’t get at Wrigley, Fenway, or Yankee Stadium.

2) Easy to get to with several different options and plenty of close parking.

Least Favorite Things:

1) In the summer if you do not have shade (and there is not much of it) you will wilt in the heat. It seems like the stadium really holds in the heat. I hate Sunday Afternoon games in my 132 seats if the temperature is over 80 degrees.

2) There is a relatively low pitch to the seats especially in the lower deck. It can make it tough for short people and/or kids to see the game. I am 6′ 3″ so I do not have a problem, but my 5 yr old has to spend the game on my lap in order to see.

SOShockey April 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

For Blake and Matt…
It’s not unwritten…in fact this was taken from the Comerica Park Fan Guide on the team’s site.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Guests are permitted to bring food and sealed clear bottles of plain, unflavored water into Comerica Park. For the kids in your group, juice boxes are also allowed. No other bottles, cans, or liquid containers are allowed into Comerica Park.

I hardly ever purchase food at the park, but instead will hit some of the local places and take my lunch/dinner inside. Never had a problem in almost 5 years of doing this. The big deal is to make sure your water is sealed, although, I’ve managed to sneak my CamelBak with ice water in a few times during the really hot months.

cib April 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Matt/Blake, you can bring in a water bottle as long as it’s sealed. I guess they figure if you’ve opened it you might have spiked it and they want you to get drunk only on beverages purchased inside the park.
I often bring my own food and have never had a problem.
This is a fun thread. I agree that there are more non-fan idiots this year. Don’t they know they can smoke, watch TV and drink cheaper beer elsewhere??

Katie April 28, 2008 at 3:22 pm

I echo all the scoreboard stuff. My biggest issue about Comerica, though–and this may be unpopular–is that people bring kids that are ill-behaved or just too little to enjoy the experience. The ferris wheel and carousel are great diversions for the little ones, it seems, but still, when it’s ten at night and a three-year-old is crying behind me because they’re tired and their parent won’t take them home, well, that gets frustrating, as does hair-pulling, kicking, etc.

I love the skyline, proximity to fun downtown stuff, most of the ushers, the integration of the tiger into the architecture of the stadium, sitting behind the Tigers bullpen. One other thing I don’t love, though, is that I’ve had some problems with handicap accomodations; wedging a knee immobilizer and a pair of crutches into an upper-deck seat is just not all that successful.

Jeff M April 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm

I guess they figure if you’ve opened it you might have spiked it and they want you to get drunk only on beverages purchased inside the park.

It’s state law. If you have an alcohol license, you cannot allow alcohol to be carried in.

ez April 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm

The bathrooms, while plentiful, still suffer from State Of Michigan bureaucratic nonsense. Each year men and woman are subjected to missing countless innings becuase the lazy state employees at Health and Human Services deemed trough urinals illegal, despite working just fine in other states and in europe. This makes for RIDICULOUS wait times to relieve ones self. Trough urinals would triple, not double, but triple the amount of users at any one time. This would make for quicker wait times and more of the game being seen. Not to leave the ladies out, you could reduce the size of the men’s room while actually getting more men through more quickly and increase the number of stalls for the ladies, thus eliminating the lines you see for the ladies room… Of course we can’t have that because that is sex discrimination! Ladies and men are completely equal, and so they must by law have the same amount of urinals!

I believe men and woman to be equal, except for fundamental biological differences. Change these assinine government-gone-amock rules and make it a better place for men and women to see a game.

Other than that, scrape the park because there is not a decent seat in the house, the outfield was so poorly designed that it has had to go through multiple corrections and now looks like the after thought it is…

Keep the gizmo’s for the kiddies if you must, but put them in an adjoining park. Rebuild a la Tiger Stadium so the fans are on the action, and this can be done with the lucrative sky boxes. Whoever designed that park must have been related to Matt Millen.

Finally, get rid of those god awful Mike Ilitch Gypsum disks posing as pizza. I wouldn’t serve that schlock to escaping Taliban.

The food at Como is atrocious, as anyone who has been to more than 5 stadiums will tell you….

JML April 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm

I’ve been to more than five parks, and the food at Comerica is ok. And the variety is fine. Sure, there is better, but it’s not relatively abysmal. Exception: the pizza. But that’s true of Sleazers in general. Bleah! The “gizmos” etc are hardly on the field or anything; it would seem silly to make them so physically separate. The important thing to me is seating is not obstructed; maybe it could have been a tad steeper to bring folks closer, but at the same time I am glad I don’t feel like I could tumble over and down any second as is the case in some parks! :-P

Jonathon April 28, 2008 at 4:34 pm

I would totally agree with what everyone else is stating about the scoreboard. It really seems outdated compared to the new ones. I would also agree with the amount of replays shown. They should show every play after its done. No reason to not have it. The new wrap around screens are great and the new field scoreboard is very nice.

I used to complain alot about not having the game on in the concourse and that was nice that they added that. One other small thing that i’ve noticed would be nice would be if they had either more condiment stands or have cafeteria type slide bars to set you food tray on when you are at the condiment bar. Its hard to balance something to drink with the tray and putting ketchup and mustard on the dog.

Besides that, love the park and everything about it.

Ryan April 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm

To follow up,

I’ve brought in all sorts of food over the last couple years (without any sort of hiding) and never ever had a single problem. Everything from venison jerky to cheese and crackers to blueberries. I’ve actually asked what the ‘rule’ is and was told that as long as your food is of a quantity to be consumable by you and your group (they don’t want you becoming a secret vendor) and it is not a readily available ‘ballpark type’ food (hot dogs, nachos, pizza etc.) there is no problem. The only allowable beverage is water in a sealed, clear plastic bottle. I’ve brought sealed gallon jugs with no problem. Basically, as long as you don’t abuse this policy, they will let you use it.

Brett April 28, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I love the park. Two major beefs I have with Copa:

1. The Wave; come on what is this, 1985? The wave sucks and is played out.

2. More importantly, the crowd only cheers before pitches when the scoreboard says: “make noise”. It’s like the crowd isn’t as into the game as we could be because everyone waits for the scoreboard to tell them to make noise.

Kathy April 28, 2008 at 9:02 pm

This might sound corny, buy I think they should play Last Man Standing Eye of the Tiger every game, maybe between 7 and 8 innings. I also love the Boston fans singing Sweet Caroline but I think fans could get into clapping along with Eye of the Tiger. Also I’d love to hear a little Motown music, something we’ve all heard and know that would stir up the emotions. The Piston’s got it right in their house! Also, I agree there are too many messages telling us when to clap and cheer. It takes all the spontanaity (well, I know that’s spelled wrong) out of the fans cheering themselves and making up cheers.

Tim D April 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm

Like:

View of the skyline
Tiger history displays
Statues
Food
Concourses
Souvenir shop
The Coney joint
TVs at the concession stands

Don’t like:

Not Tiger Stadium
Prices (for everything)
Sitting lower than field level in the infield boxes
Miles from the field in almost any seat
Airsickness in the upper deck (as opposed to the best upper deck in baseball in Tiger Stadium)
Blaring music so loud I can’t talk baseball between innings.
No organ
Gigantic scoreboard dominates the park but is 90% ads.
Too darn big in the power alleys.

Overall Comerica is a bland and uninspiring replacement for Tiger Stadium. Pittsburgh, SF and Philly are all much better new generation parks.

scotsw April 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Agreed about the canned cheers. I die a little inside every time people fall for the fake “noise meter” and other schlock. On the other hand, the “hand claps” seem to fit right into the ballpark experience. Corny, but traditional. I like the organ, but they don’t use it much, and after being to a handful of games this year, I’m guessing that there is no organ, just a tape of the Tiger Stadium organ playing a few key ditties.

Oh, and I still have a soft spot for the wave.

As for the pizza, Little Caesar’s isn’t the greatest, but pizza money did buy Miguel Cabrera. But it compares favorably to the cardboard-tasting frozen nuke-za they serve some places. And if you get it right out of the oven, you know it’s hot (see my “hot” dog rant above).

Anthony April 28, 2008 at 11:34 pm

You know what drives me bonkers? when you’re sitting in the lower bowl on one of the foul lines and people are walking down the isles all game. the ushers should really restrict traffic during the play.

Also, the concession stand employees are slow.

When its crowded i prefer the upper deck, the lines are all small and there is nobody blocking my view.

JOE Z April 29, 2008 at 1:49 am

it’s been a few years since ive been back to the COPA.

but the thing i miss most, is first being able to walk around the entire outfield. but mostly, standing under the statues and taking in a few innings from almost straight away center. it can be a beautiful sight. the last time i was able to get there was 2004 , standing in that spot, holding up a “RESTORE THE ROAR” poster. how times have changed

Scott April 29, 2008 at 10:21 am

On scoreboards:

1. The umpires’ union has, for years, not allowed replays of “controversial” plays, including (but certainly not limited to), called third strikes, double plays originating at second base, steals, and anything that calls their judgment into question. This rule is so out-of-date that it’s laughable, but there’s no reason to blame the Tigers for not including this stuff. The umps do have it in their power to turn off the scoreboards if they feel they’re being utilized improperly.

2. I agree: CoPa has an out-of-date scoreboard presentation. Most parks have the ability to post an inordinate number of stats, from OBP and OPS to pitcher K-to-BB ratio…but they don’t, because a) those stats scare management, who want safe numbers that Joe Fan understands, and b) they really are limited by a lack of space. It’s one thing for TV to show all those numbers, but to read them from 400 feet away, they need to be huge.

In the absence of a great new HD scoreboard out there in left, the wraparound LEDs at CoPa would be a great place for all of these additional numbers…and would give you a reason to actually look at them.

Other great examples of scoreboard usage for stats in baseball are: Indians, Cardinals, Giants, and Braves.

big al April 29, 2008 at 2:24 pm

need to bench gary sheffield and play brandon. need to take out if the other team scores two or more runs in one inning. play brandon at third not carlos.i know i could manage a team better than some.

Seymour Elroy April 29, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Of course you could Big Al. I hear DD is taking resumes. He may be hesitant to hire you though as you might take his job, too. I also find my self ordering take out when the other team scores two or more runs in one inning. I also hate using capital letters and any type of punctuation which is not a period.

Julie April 29, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Regarding bringing food into the park, the Tigers website has their official policy online, as follows:

“Guests are permitted to bring food and sealed clear bottles of plain, unflavored water into Comerica Park. For the kids in your group, juice boxes are also allowed. No other bottles, cans, or liquid containers are allowed into Comerica Park.”

Here’s the link as well: http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/ticketing/ballparkguide_list.jsp#food

I was really surprised when I first read this. My husband and I bring food in with us regularly; it saves some cash and I can’t eat much at the park anyway due to a food allergy.

Terry Moore Staner August 13, 2008 at 11:46 am

How about the handicapped amenities? Good or Bad? Lots of stairs to walk?

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