The former Tiger Stadium site will begin a new era on Saturday, March 24, when the Detroit Police Athletic League celebrates the grand opening of its new headquarters and playing field.
Originally opening as Navin Field in 1912, Tiger Stadium served as home to the Detroit Tigers through the 1999 season. It stood for many years after the Tigers’ departure–even playing the role of Yankee Stadium in the production of the film 61*–before being demolished completely in 2009.
However, the Tiger Stadium site is now set for a new era, as PAL has been working for the last several years to complete this project at bygone ballpark’s location. The development includes a new turf grass field that will be used for sporting events, along with a PAL headquarters. The field will maintain the dimensions of Tiger Stadium, and even feature the ballpark’s famed flag pole. (The Detroit Free Press has more on the flag pole.)
The brand-new facility, officially named The Corner Ballpark presented by Adient, will be open to the public at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and will celebrate the opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m.
“This is a very exciting time for Detroit PAL and the city of Detroit,” said Tim Richey, CEO of Detroit PAL. “With the help of our generous donors, we have been able to build a new home for PAL and our 14,000 girls and boys. This new stadium is a statement to PAL’s commitment to the sports and programs we offer and the youth of Detroit.”
Fundraising for the development plans began in 2016, after the Detroit Economic Development Corp. approved a memorandum of understanding, granting PAL rights to the 9.5 acre field. In two years, PAL secured over $20 million in donor gifts to construct the 8,500 sq. foot headquarters and banquet hall, and build a state-of-the-art baseball field, which maintained the original dimensions of the former field.
Naming sponsors of the new stadium include:
- Adient – Corner Ballpark naming rights
- Meijer – Willie Horton Field of Dreams naming rights
The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin on the field at 10 a.m. and will be feature speeches from PAL supporters and community leaders, including Richey, Mayor Mike Duggan, Chief James Craig and former Senator Carl Levin. Guests will be able to tour the new facility and field, enjoy family-friendly activities, and watch baseball games between local Metro Detroit high school teams. Celebrations for the new stadium will also take place on Friday, March 23 with the unveiling of the new donor wall, designed by Erik and Israel Nordin of the Detroit Design Center and the Michigan Sports Legacy Conservancy.
Update (3/23): As announced Friday, Comerica Bank, the naming-rights partner for the Tigers’ Comerica Park, is also involved in the project. As part of the partnership, a Comerica ATM will be installed at the facility and the bank will continue to support PAL programming.
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