Welcome to Comerica Park

by Harrison Boyink / Sep 25, 2013 / 0 comments

Every year, millions of tickets are sold to fans wanting to see their favorite baseball team. This is my favorite team. This is Comerica Park. Home of the Detroit Tigers. Opened in 2000, fans have filed in, no matter if the team in any particular year is horrible or championship-caliber. Gameday is an experience unlike any other, with giveaways, game shows, and random conversations with total strangers, connected only by the Tigers - talking about anything from Miguel Cabrera's injury to Max Scherzer's amazing season to last night's incredible six-run bottom of the ninth. A sensory overload seems inevitable.


Comerica Park


The food smells alone are like an orchestra for the nose, ranging from the shrill, high notes of onions and beer to the low, bass smells of roasted peanuts and nachos, with various smells filling in the rest. People walking around provide whiffs of laundry detergent and different ladies’ perfumes.


The sound is deafening in Comerica Park. 40,000 people are talking at once, excited about the game to come. Various voice pitches, from high 5-year-olds to the bass tones of the 80-year-old men, make it impossible to converse normally, causing people to raise their voices - and consequently raise the volume level until kids start covering their ears from the noise. Vendors, hawking hot dogs, beer, and cotton candy, shout out above the crowd, letting people know the delicious food they have available. Booming over every noise is the stadium announcer, alerting people to pitching changes and pinch hitters. If you walk in the right spot up on the concourse, you can just barely make out the music from the carousel one the right field concourse, combined with the squeals of kids enjoying the ride. The volume throbs with alternating excitement and disappointment, corresponding with what the current batter does.


The park is alive with color. The masses attending the game all wear the Tiger's team colors of orange or blue or grey, with the occasional visiting team's black-and-white jersey.  The giant green scoreboard over the bullpen dominates the skyline, changing multicolored electric ads flanking the main screen; the massive white stone tigers on top observe the game. The grass is as green as a forest, well sprinkled and lush. The dirt infield, watered down to slow ground balls, is the dark brown of a week-overripe banana. The foul lines flash as white as a celebrity's teeth, freshly chalked to make an umpire's fair-foul call easier.


Comerica Park


Every surface within reach is hard. Plastic seats, tables, and railings are smooth and slightly slimy, somewhat like a rock that's been in a river for a short while. The ground is cement, rough and grooved.


Everybody is moving in some way, whether it's talking, gesturing, eating, or walking, causing the colors to ripple and move like a flag in the wind. The sun shines intensely down, warming the entire ballpark, the light changing as the clouds overhead move along. The breeze swirls around in a circular pattern, desperately trying to fight the sun. The comparatively empty field only hosts a few players throwing a ball around, keeping warm. No matter where you sit, you can still see that little white speck of a ball.


Eating at the park just feels right. Meaty ballpark hotdogs on soft, slightly stale buns slathered with tangy mustard, slightly sweet ketchup, and barely sour onions explode with flavor. Chips and nacho cheese taste obviously fake, very overly cheesy. The air tastes of thousands of people exhaling, surprisingly not disgusting, combined with the smell-flavor of the various foods.


Comerica Park - home of the best fans in baseball. Thousands of people a game, enjoying baseball as it should be played - by a winning team in Detroit. Even in loss, the fans leave satisfied. Welcome to the best experience in baseball. Welcome to Comerica Park.





Harris Boyink is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program


All photos courtesy and copyright Harris Boyink