Changing Gears is a public media project about the future of the industrial Midwest. Each week, reporters Dan Bobkoff in Cleveland, Niala Boodhoo in Chicago and Kate Davidson in Ann Arbor cover issues of interest to the Great Lakes region. Changing Gears also sponsors public events and conversations.
On Sunday, which is Earth Day, the Detroit Tigers want to take all that a step further.
The team is hosting its first Ride to the Ballpark event, testing its theory that baseball fans and bicyclists are one and the same.
“Detroit has a very cool, strong cyclist culture,” says Eli Bayless, the Tigers’ director of promotions and in-game operations.
The Tigers are offering a $14 package that includes an upper deck ticket to the game, and a ticket for a bicycle valet. Cyclists will pull up to Columbia Plaza in front of Comerica Park’s Gate A entrance, and check their bikes.
Tickets must be purchased by midnight tonight: there will be no same-day Ride to the Ballpark sales.
Slugger Prince Fielder has only played one regular season game with the Detroit Tigers, but the team is reveling in his economic impact.
The Tigers drew a record Opening Day crowd of 45,027 to Comerica Park, the second-highest single game attendance in the park’s 12-year history.
Many people were there simply to see Fielder, the former Milwaukee Brewer who signed a $214 million, nine-year contract with the club earlier this year.
Thanks to Fielder, the Tigers have seen an immediate impact on season ticket sales.
They sold 21,000 season ticket packages (six games or more) before the season started, guaranteeing them annual attendance of at least 1.6 million fans. That’s up 50 percent from the 14,000 season tickets the Tigers sold in 2011, when they won the American League Central Division title. Continue reading “The Prince Fielder Economic Effect In Detroit”
The folks at Funny or Die know it. Baseball can bring out the competitiveness in Midwesterners. We may have our disagreements – Cubs or Sox, Tigers or Tribe, Twins or Brewers – but no matter who you cheer for in the Midwest, chances are your local economy picks up just a little this time of year.
Spring training is underway, and avid Detroit Tiger fans are counting the days until April 5, when it will be Opening Day at Comerica Park.
This year, there’s a lot of attention surrounding the team, which stunned baseball when it snapped up slugger Prince Fielder. Opening Day tickets sold out in 45 minutes last Saturday, and demand for regular season games is soaring, which will bring a lot of people downtown.
And the impact will be even greater if Tigers’ owner Mike Ilitch get his dream of a World Series.
We want to know what the Tigers mean to you. Are you a lifelong fan, or did you only catch Tiger Fever last year? What are your memories of Comerica Park (or as some of us won’t stop calling it, Tiger Stadium)? How do you think the interest in the Tigers will affect Detroit?
Take our survey. Send us your thoughts, memories, photos. We’ll feature them every day during Opening Day week.
Then re-live last year’s Opening Day. See you at the ballpark!
If you’re a baseball fan, you already know that the ground shook last week when the Detroit Tigers signed slugger Prince Fielder. His nine-year, $214 million contract cost the Tigers as much as Ford plans to spend on a new engine plant in Brazil.
That word comes from Chris Ilitch, the son of Tigers’ owner Michael Ilitch, and the president of Illitch Family Holdings, Inc., the family’s group of companies that includes pizza giant Little Caesar’s Enterprises.
Those companies, including the Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings, and Detroit’s Motor City casino, generate about $4 billion in annual revenue.
There may be no joy in Boston or Atlanta, but there is plenty among baseball fans in the Great Lakes. The Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers are headed to division playoff series in the American and National Leagues, respectively.
The Brewers have a leg up on their neighbors across Lake Michigan: they’ve clinched home field advantage in the best of five series. They play the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday and Saturday at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The Tigers face the New York Yankees those same days at Yankee Stadium in New York, then return to Comerica Park on Monday.
Both teams have been big economic drivers for their home towns, and both cities will get another economic boost from post-season games, which could last all this month, depending on how far each team goes. That’s good news for everything that benefits from a sports team: restaurants, parking lot attendants, hotels, souvenir sales and the guys who hawk peanuts. Continue reading “Detroit, Milwaukee Get Ready For Post-Season Economic Boost”