A Fans’ Guide to Watching a Game at Comerica Park

There are many tigers to see at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

There are many tigers to see at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

There is nothing better than watching a Tigers game on a warm and sunny summer day at Comerica Park in Detroit. Well, at least for me.

As the home ballpark of the Tigers since April of 2000, it has been witness to the good, the bad and the ugly. The good being Justin Verlander’s no-hitter in 2007 and the club’s two World Series appearances (2006 and 2012) — one of which was brought about by Magglio Ordonez’s game-winning home run in Game Four of the ’06 ALCS, the bad being Armando Galarraga’s near-perfect game in 2010 which was blown by umpire Jim Joyce, and the ugly being the 2003 campaign which resulted in an American League-record 119 losses.

Not enough time has yet passed for us to know whether Comerica Park will be remembered in the same light as Tiger Stadium, which served as the Tigers’ home stadium from 1912-1999 and stood on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull from 1912 until its demolition in 2009.

Tiger Stadium famously allowed fans to sit closer to the field than at any other major league ballpark due to its upper deck being positioned directly above the lower deck.

As a result, despite a few instances of “obstructed viewing,” fans were able to see plays develop from basically every part of the club’s historic park.

It’s something that hasn’t been and won’t be able to be replicated at Comerica Park.

Only a select few uniform numbers have been r

Only a select few uniform numbers have been retired by the Detroit Tigers.

Comerica Park Amenities

Despite that being the case, Comerica has a lot to offer for all ages. For kids, it has a Ferris Wheel located on the third base side of the park and a merry-go-round located in the middle of the stadium’s food court.

There are dozens (maybe even hundreds) of “tigers” at Comerica Park, and I’m not talking about Justin Verlander. No, I mean ornate, ceramic, stone, carved creatures prowling everywhere. Be sure to get your photo snapped in front of the two-story tall tiger at the south entrance to the ballpark.

The Detroit Tigers have only retired a few uniform numbers in their history, but your eyes will be drawn to them and the names of the players in right-center field on the brick wall. Take a circuit around the walkway behind the outfield and you’ll also see statues for Tigers’ legends Ty Cobb (sliding), Al Kaline (reaching high for a fly ball), Hank Greenberg (swinging), Charlie Gehringer (turning a double play), Hal Newhouser (in a high leg-kick pitching motion), and Willie Horton (taking a mighty swing). There’s also a statue for the former voice of the Tigers, the immensely popular Ernie Harwell, located near the third base side as you enter the ballpark.

There are several places to get drinks at Comerica Park and the view while youis fantastic.

There are several places to get drinks at Comerica Park and the view while you sip is fantastic.

Drinks at the ballpark

For those who aren’t the most attentive baseball watchers and would like a “brew” or two (or more) while taking in a Tigers game, there is the “New Amsterdam 416 Bar,” which opened in 2014 as a way to increase both standing room and sales for the Pepsi Porch in right field. Standing 416 feet away from home plate, it’s been a fan favorite, with amenities such as outdoor couches and chairs, a gas fireplace and multiple 12-inch flat screen TVs.

It’s a fun, lively environment to watch a Tigers game on a summer night, especially for a younger crowd of people.

If you are opposed to standing outside, you can also “throw a few back” inside the highly popular Beer Hall, which is an indoors, sit-down restaurant located behind section 133 and in the same area as the Brushfire Grill.

And if you’re a typical baseball purist, there’s nothing better than sitting down on a beautiful summer day in one of the stadium’s many sections with your best buds or your wife and kids and watching a game while equipped with a hot dog in one hand and your beverage of choice in the other.

A Phillies' fan enjoys a hot dog while watching her team play the Tig

A Phillies’ fan enjoys a hot dog while watching her team play the Tigers at Comerica Park. (Photo by @erinpbsays)

Food choices

For me, though, there is nothing better than grabbing an Italian sausage at one of the portable stands while washing it down with a refreshing bottle of Aquafina water, which can be bought at any of the park’s 11 “Big League Grills” and pretty much anywhere where beverages are sold, outside of the New Amsterdam 416 Bar and the Michigan craft beer stand located behind section 104.

And for others who have a wider range of palate tastes, the food options have gladly taken a turn for the better, with not only “Ball Park Franks” hotdogs and overpriced “Little Caesars Pizza” available but also a variety of hamburgers such as garden burgers and black bean burgers plus a variety of “specialty” hot dogs such as veggie dogs, “Chicago Style” dogs and Coney style dogs – the last of which is my favorite.

Best place to sit at Comerica Park

Many fans enjoy these variety of food options from a close vantage point, such as down the right field or left field line or right behind home plate where you can easily see the balls and strikes as they’re being called by the home plate ump. However, I prefer the perspective of a bird’s eye view, which at Comerica consists of sections 210-219 and sections 321-346.

I, for one, want to see the entire playing field to see the play develop, and the best way to do so is by sitting up top and especially above home plate in the 326-329 sections.

I also don’t like having to worry about foul balls coming in my direction, which is a constant worry of mine when sitting directly behind or adjacent to either the Tigers’ dugout on the third base side or the visitors’ dugout on the first base side.

Sitting behind or adjacent to one of the dugouts is also not the best for individuals with declining eyesight, aka my 58-year-old father. Sorry for throwing you under the bus, dad, but you know it’s true when you’ve got a “screaming” line drive off the bat of Miguel Cabrera coming your way.

By sitting far from the playing field, does it make me an unnecessarily huge worrywart? I don’t know. You can be the judge of that.

However, as a paying customer at Comerica, sitting above home plate in the 326-329 sections is where I believe I’m getting the most bang for my buck. How about you?

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About Vito Chirco

Vito Chirco is a class of 2015 graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy, and a freelance writer for the Detroit Free Press. When the 22-year-old's not talking or writing about sports, he loves taking in a baseball game and watching his favorite professional sports team, the Detroit Tigers.