If recent comments from team president Chris Ilitch are any indication, the Detroit Tigers could pursue a major Comerica Park renovation.
Downtown Detroit’s Comerica Park first opened for the Tigers in 2000. While the team has made some tweaks to the ballpark in recent years, the facility could be in line for significant updates at some point in the future.
During a conference staged by Sports Business Journal this week, Ilitch indicated that the Tigers will look to make a major update to Comerica Park down the road. No firm timelines or cost estimates were provided, but any future Comerica Park renovations could have an effect on the fan experience. More from Crain’s Detroit Business:
Detroit Tigers President Chris Ilitch made the remarks about improving the 19-year-old baseball stadium during Tuesday’s sessions at the 2018 Sports Facilities and Franchises conference, held this week at Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac hotel and staged by Sports Business Journal.
“We actually are gearing up. We try to be very disciplined at Comerica Park and each and every year … just keep investing in the facility and keeping it fresh and exciting and make sure that customer experience stays high,” Ilitch was quoted by the magazine as saying. “Having said that, at some point we are going to take it to the next level and really do something more meaningful because we are seeing how people are reacting to the Little Caesars environment.”
A message was left seeking additional comment with the Ilitch family’s corporate spokesman.
Ilitch’s reference to the Little Caesar Arena environment suggests Comerica Park could see the addition of upscale clubs and amenities for season ticket holders and those willing to pay for premium seating — the high-dollar fans and corporate sponsors that generate much of pro sports teams’ annual local revenue. Little Caesar Arena has several such clubs and unique seating, catering to fans and clients willing to spend beyond the basic price of a ticket in the bowl, in return for finer dining and luxury options — a trend for several years in stadium and arena design and renovation.
Little Caesars Arena–home to the NBA’s Pistons and the Ilitch family-owned Red Wings of the NHL–opened to acclaim last fall. The venue has been noted for its unique mix of premium and social spaces, and is expected to be a centerpiece for new development in downtown Detroit over the coming years. It remains to be seen what could be in line for Comerica Park, but it is possible that the Tigers could look to spruce up or add premium and social spaces in the coming years.