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New Tiger Stadium plan would preserve historic playing field

Navin Field, Detroit Tigers

The latest plan for the former Tiger Stadium site would preserve the historic playing field while adding new development, including a new headquarters for Detroit PAL, the former Police Athletic League.

Detroit has struggled to find a use for the ballpark site after quicky (and some would say recklessly) tore down Tiger Stadium in two steps — first the majority of the ballpark and then the original Navin Field grandstand — and basically left the property go to weed. (Luckily, volunteers have maintained the playing field.) While previous mayoral administrations sought to bring in a big-box retailer (which would have been disastrous, given that big-box retail is in the doldrums), more recent thinking had a more modest development approach to the site while preserving the playing field where Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg and Al Kaline starred.

The plan was unveiled today:

Under the plan outlined this morning, the Detroit PAL would maintain the full playing field for baseball and other youth sports, possibly including high school and college teams. A variety of sports could be featured, and Thomas Linn, president of the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy, a nonprofit group, said the plan would create “a home for Detroit youth for generations to come.”

Detroit PAL would build its new headquarters for up to 30 employees along the Cochrane Avenue side of the site. The headquarters would extend from the street roughly to the old third base line of the playing field.

Detroit PAL would have the rights for a few years to also develop the portion of the site running along the I-75 service drive, possibly to build a field house for youth sports if enough money can be raised.

Of course, other similar plans have come and gone. But this one seems to have some life.

RELATED STORIES: New plan for Tiger Stadium: youth baseball, mixed-use development; Morris: No tears shed over loss of Tiger Stadium; Tiger Stadium debate rages on; Detroit officials: let’s compromise on Tiger Stadium redevelopment; MLB pitches youth academy for Tiger Stadium site; Keeping baseball alive at Tiger Stadium; Newest development plan for Tiger Stadium site: Urban Café Detroit; Tiger Stadium sign lives on; Despite bureaucratic indifference, Tiger Stadium lives on; New Tiger Stadium plan emerging: parades and baseball; “Business is better now than when Tiger Stadium was around”


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