Prep DH headlines PAL’s Tiger Stadium grand opening
Detroit The Corner is about to come back to life.
For the first time in nearly two decades, there will be sanctioned baseball games at the old Tiger Stadium site, with Detroit King and Detroit Western headlining a doubleheader Saturday, March 24, as part of the Detroit Police Athletic League’s grand-opening weekend.
Detroit — PAL is hosting opening ceremonies Friday, March 23, through Sunday, March 25, celebrating the completion of the two-year, $21-million revitalization project.
On March 24, the day of the public grand opening for the Corner Ballpark and Willie Horton Field of Dreams, Detroit King will play West Bloomfield at 1 p.m., following by Detroit Western-Saline at 3:30. That day will kick off with a parade of PAL children at 9 a.m., followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony starting at 10 a.m., which will feature several speakers, including mayor Mike Duggan, former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and Detroit Police chief James Craig. Before the baseball games, dignitaries and kids will throw out ceremonial first pitches.
A ticket-required ceremony for donors is scheduled for the evening of Friday, March 23, and is sold out.
On Sunday, March 25, the Corner Ballpark is hosting “Corktown Day,” showcasing food from several neighborhood restaurants. The field is will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day.
Also of note, on Thursday, March 29, PAL will host an Opening Day watch party, with tailgating and gates opening at 9 a.m., before the Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates kick off the 2018 Major League Baseball season down the road.
The Tigers departed Tiger Stadium at the conclusion of the 1999 season, moving across town to Comerica Park. The demolition of Tiger Stadium was completed in 2009, and after a number of ideas for reviving the hallowed grounds never came to fruition, PAL was awarded the site in 2015 and broke ground on its ambitious redevelopment project in the spring of 2016. PAL has raised millions for the project from the likes of Adient, Meijer, Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers and many others.
The site will be the home base for PAL’s headquarters and thousands of Detroit youth, with the stadium featuring artificial turf, but sticking to the Tiger Stadium roots in a number of other ways — including using the same outfield dimensions, and retaining the original flag pole. The site has grandstands, dugouts and a banquet center, and there are plans for a future “Hall of Heroes.”
There also are ongoing discussions to border the Corner Ballpark with commercial and residential developments.
PAL continues to sell personalized commemorative bricks that will be placed at the park’s entrance, ranging in cost from $150 to $500. They can be purchased at detroitpal.org/brick-campaign.