Comerica Park: Baseball Gameday Guide


When Comerica Park came to downtown Detroit in 2000, the stadium revitalized the surrounding neighborhood. When Ford Field, home to the Detroit Lions, followed suit just two years later, the economic jolt was palpable. Once a district pocked with boarded up storefronts and empty lots, downtown Detroit began to blossom. Now plans are for a new downtown arena to house the NHL's Red Wings by 2017.

The city of Detroit is in full comeback mode, and Comerica Park helped lead the resurgence. On game day the streets surrounding Comerica Park hum with people en route to downtown restaurants and bars. Detroit fans are fiercely loyal to the Tigers, but even the die-hards are friendly, and happy to offer directions or advice about where to shop and eat—although you can expect the streets to empty again about an hour after the final inning.

There is no one more fiercely supportive of Detroit than Detroiters. As a consequence, most of the downtown options for game-day food and drink are one-of-a-kind, locally-owned businesses that refused to give up on the city when times got tough. Independent eateries like Foran's Grand Trunk and Elwood Grill serve hearty meals and Michigan-made craft beer just outside the park. Inside Comerica you'll find Leo's Coney Island, a Motor City mainstay, and Little Caesar's Pizza, founded and owned by the Detroit-born Ilitch family, owners of the Detroit Tigers since 1992.

QUICK LINKS WHAT TO DO BEFORE A TIGERS GAME
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Comerica Park opens two hours prior to the first pitch. You'll find plenty of pre-game food, drink and entertainment options inside the stadium to keep you busy, but Detroit's friendly, locally-owned restaurants and bars around the stadium might make you rethink entering Comerica too early. Here are a few of our favorites.

WHERE TO GET A BEER
Detroit Beer Company | This craft brewer just three blocks from Comerica Park is all about the Tigers, attracting thirsty pregame fans, unfortunates who couldn't score a ticket (the games are always televised at the bar) and post-game celebrants. They've even named half of their house-brewed beers after baseball terms. Try the Baseball Beer, a smooth pale ale, or the Grand Slam Belgian Tripel.

WHERE TO GO WITH A GROUP
Hockeytown Café | Three floors of dining space and a rooftop patio allow space for the whole gang. This Red Wings–themed café overflows with Tigers fans in summer and, since it's right across the street from Comerica, you can finish every last drop of your beer and still get to the park in time for the first pitch.

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD SPOT
Foran's Grand Trunk | First a jewelry store, then a Grand Trunk Railroad ticket station and, rumor has it, a magic shop run by Harry Houdini, this neighborhood hidey-hole dating from 1879 is short on space but long on history, and as friendly as can be. Look for 170 Michigan-made craft beers, a lot of game-day navy and orange and a location just half a mile from Comerica.

WHERE TO GET ROWDY
Old Shillelagh | Since 1975 this neighborhood Irish pub has had a history of celebrating every day like it's St. Patty's Day. Downstairs you'll find Tigers fans drinking and dancing; upstairs the crowd gets even louder with live music. If you overload on Guinness, hop the free shuttle to the game.

WHERE TO HAVE A SIT-DOWN MEAL
Fishbone's | Greektown's sprawling eatery serves a legendary Sunday brunch, perfect before weekend games. The daily menu includes steak and seafood, much of it with a New Orleans twist, and Fishbone's sushi bar is very popular. If you don't feel like walking eight blocks to Comerica Park, hop on the free game shuttle.

BEST BREAKFAST JOINT ON GAME DAY
The Hudson Café | The ideal spot for a big breakfast before an afternoon game, this Woodward Avenue restaurant dishes up unbelievably large plates of red velvet pancakes ($9), fried chicken and waffles ($13), and voodoo eggs Benedict topped with chorizo and ranchero sauce ($10). You'll also find a small selection of sandwiches and salads at this breakfast-and-lunch-only café.

CAN YOU TAILGATE AT COMERICA PARK?
Tailgating in Comerica Park's lots and surrounding streets is strictly forbidden. Instead, take your party inside the stadium or to a local bar.

WHAT'S NEARBY? INSIDE COMERICA PARK

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It's hard to beat a day at the ballpark. That's the attitude that persists at Comerica Park, where the fans are friendly, the prices are reasonable and the mood is upbeat, win or lose.

WHERE TO SIT
No matter the price, all seats inside Comerica Park have a clear view of the field. The ballpark is designed with a cutaway view of Detroit's glittering skyline above the outfield. You'll get the best combination city and ballpark views if you sit in sections 118-137 or, in the upper decks, 321-337.
Comerica Park Seating Chart

BEST FOOD
Tiger Club | Fans holding Tiger Den and On-Deck Circle tickets can access Comerica's best food in the Tiger Club. The club offers two dinner seatings per game, with a $35 buffet (buffet price not included in your ticket) of soups and salads, house-smoked and braised meats, artisan cheeses and a sushi bar. The Tiger Club overlooks right field. Dinner reservations are required.

BEST LOCAL VENDOR
Corner Tap Room | The Corner Tap Room pays homage to the old Tiger Stadium with a décor that includes a replica scoreboard and a street sign from Michigan and Trumbull. Creative starters, salads and sandwiches fill the menu: loaded fries, a jalapeno beef and cheddar sandwich and a bacon-wrapped dog. The new restaurant sits near Comerica's Gate A and is open for lunch and dinner even when the stadium isn't

BEST BEER IN COMERICA PARK
Michigan's Craft Beers | Forget the Bud Light and Labatt's. Instead, raise a glass of Michigan-brewed craft beer, located near section 104. The state's best suds are on tap here, including beers from New Holland, Bell's, Atwater and Founders.

WHERE TO EAT HEALTHY
Grab-n-Go and Brushfire Grill | Takeaway foods like yogurt, salads, Germack snacks, protein bars and whole fruit are available near section 147, while vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free "GoPicnic" snack packs are available throughout the stadium. For a healthy sit-down meal, head to Brushfire Grill for house-smoked meats ($6-15), black bean burgers, hummus and other vegetarian-friendly choices.

BEST STADIUM BAR
New Amsterdam | Located in right field, where the Pepsi Porch once stood, the New Amsterdam Bar adds a little grown-up merriment to Comerica's refreshment options. Although the best bar seats are reserved for season ticket holders, New Amsterdam is open to all fans, and includes a 45-foot-long fire pit.

OTHER THINGS TO SEE WHILE YOU'RE HERE
Comerica Park has only been around since 2000 but the Tigers' history goes all the way back to the 1880s. A Walk of Fame encircles Comerica Park's main concourse with historical artifacts and photos recounting 13 decades of Tigers baseball.

Six 13-foot stainless steel statues commemorate Detroit's stand-out players along the left field wall—Willie Horton, Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Hal Newhouser and Al Kaline—while a statue of beloved Tigers radio announcer Ernie Harwell greets visitors at Gate A.

Comerica Park Tours

TIGERS GAMES ON A BUDGET

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Major League Baseball tickets don't cost what they did 20 years ago. Not much does. But once you've got your seats, a Tigers game doesn't have to break the bank, thanks to a variety of inexpensive eats.

WHERE TO GET A CHEAP BEER BEFORE THE GAME
Hockeytown Café | A lot of fans buy their pre-game drinks at Hockeytown. The beer is $2 a glass cheaper here than inside Comerica Park. And since the park is right across the street, you've got time to finish your suds and be in your seat in time for the national anthem.

BEST CHEAP BITES AROUND COMERICA PARK
Elwood Grill | This restored 1936 Art Deco gem was moved from its original location to make room for Comerica Park. But the Elwood still sits in the ballpark's shadow, drawing navy- and orange-clad fans before, during and after the game. You can fill up on a sandwich, fries and coleslaw for about $10.

BEST CHEAP TIGERS TICKETS
Dynamic Deals | Visit the Detroit Tigers' website to shop for Dynamic Deals, bargain-priced tickets to select baseball games. Select the link to purchase individual tickets, and an aqua-colored banner will appear highlighting available tickets on sale for as little as $10.

COMERICA PARK WITH KIDS

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Baseball is a family affair in Detroit. From inexpensive pre-game attractions to budget-priced kids' meals, Comerica makes it easy to introduce the whole family to America's favorite pastime.

WHERE TO GO BEFORE THE GAME WITH KIDS
Comerica Carousel and Fly Ball Ferris Wheel | Hand-painted tigers replace traditional horses on the Comerica Carousel, near first base in Comerica's main concourse. Near section 131 is the Fly Ball Ferris wheel, with cars shaped like baseballs. Bring the kids to the park an hour before game time to check out these rides, both of which cost $2, and are free for kids on Sundays.

BEST FOOD FOR KIDS
Big Cat Food Court | Restaurants surrounding Comerica Park are pretty kid-friendly, but if the fans get rowdy you can count on the Big Cat Food Court inside the stadium. Cafés and snack stands sell sandwiches, fries and Little Caesar's pizza, a Detroit original. The best deal on kids' food? The Kid's Meal, where $5 gets you a hot dog, chips and a juice box.

WHERE TO GET AUTOGRAPHS
Get down close to the railings for your best shot at nabbing an autograph. Fans are permitted to request players' autographs up until 45 minutes prior to the first pitch or when the batting cages are removed, at which time security asks people to head to their ticketed seats.

NEED A BREAK DURING THE GAME?
Kids and their parents enjoy testing their athletic skills at the baseball-themed games near Gate B. Activities include measuring players' pitch speed and swinging away in the batting cages. After every Sunday home game, kids 14 and under can run the bases (weather permitting).

WHERE TO BUY GEAR FOR THE KIDS
More than a dozen shops and kiosks sell navy and orange Tigers gear throughout Comerica Park, but your best bet for finding kid-sized clothing, caps and baseball toys is at The D Shop, a two-story retailer near Gate A.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A TIGERS GAME

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After the final out, you'll find fans hanging around the stadium for a little while, stopping in at the local bars to celebrate the Tigers' victory ... or mourn their defeat. But the crowds dwindle to nothing after about an hour. Bars and restaurants close and the streets grow empty as the party makes its way to nearby Greektown for late-night entertainment.

WHERE TO KEEP THE PARTY GOING
Pappy's | This Greektown tavern is the place to head post-game, a sports-themed bar where the beer flows and the food keeps coming until 2 a.m. on the weekends. You'll find a dozen craft beers on the menu, most from Michigan, as well as burgers, pizzas and gyros.

WHERE TO GET A POST-GAME MEAL
Elwood Grill | This 1936 Art Deco restaurant is just as popular after the game as it is before. Even if it's late at night, even on evenings that the restaurant would ordinarily be closed, the Elwood staffs the kitchen for its baseball fans. Expect burgers, sandwiches and salads for about an hour after the game.

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO NEARBY?
After evening games the streets around Comerica Park empty out pretty quickly. If you aren't quite ready to call it a night, walk the short distance to Greektown with the rest of the navy- and orange-clad crowd. There you'll find several blocks of bars and restaurants, as well as the popular Greektown Casino.

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Amy Eckert writes about travel, food and wine for a number of publications. She is grateful that there are few places in the world so remote that she can't check in on how her favorite Michigan sports teams are doing.