Some of you might know Detroit is home to a Major League Baseball organisation: the Tigers. The Tigers were founded in 1894 and, contrary to many other teams in Major League baseball, never moved to another town. Wikipedia says this about the club: “The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984) and have won the American League pennant 10 times. The team currently plays their home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit. The Tigers constructed Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue and began playing there in 1896. In 1912, the team moved into Navin Field, which was built on the same location. It was expanded in 1938 and renamed Briggs Stadium. It was renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961 and the Tigers played there until moving to Comerica Park in 2000.”
And it is on that new stadium i would like to continue. Because to build a new baseball park in a town with so many problems doesn’t seem to be the most logical thing to do. But than, economical necessities more often than not don’t suit the needs of the average Detroiter. As someone mentioned “You don’t get richer not building a new stadium.” And that might be true: building breeds money. Maintaining just costs money. Promptly the Tigers went through some bad years, with the 2003 season being one of the most disastrous baseball seasons played by any team in Major League Baseball history. Quoting wikipedia again: “While the 2003 Tigers rank as the third worst team in major league history based on loss total. The Tigers went 43–119 that season, 47 games behind division-winner Minnesota.” The pitchers of the Tigers were #1, #2, and #3 in the major leagues in losses for 2003—the only time in major league history that one team has had the top three losers.” Things couldn’t get worse.
But now, with the town itself starting to breathe again, so did the baseball club. 2011 saw the Detroit Tigers competing well and making it to the American League series, which is the equivalent of the semifinals, to lose against the Texas Rangers. What pleased the neutral baseball most is they beat the Yankees in the ‘quarter finals’. That, for Europeans, is the equivalent of a Dutch soccer team beating Real Madrid. And not only the Yankees, as a rich club able to sign expensive players, didn’t make it to the final rounds, neither did other rich clubs. Actually other clubs from the ‘rust belt’ performed well this season, inciting Richard Florida to write a pleasant commentary on the “de-industrialized Rustbelt metros”. Read here