Thursday, June 15, 2006

TWFE to the Tiger Stadium Fan Club: Shut the hell up already!

Word is that we'll know very soon as to what's in store for Tiger Stadium. Kwame and the city are supposed to announce their plan within the next couple of weeks. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that the plan involves dynamite, wrecking balls, and land being offered for retail development.

It's about time.

I loved the old ballyard, but it was out of date 20 years before it was closed. I had a very good friend who worked at the stadium in the mid-late 80's, and he had all access. He could access the concession stands, press box, clubhouse, storage areas, everywhere but the Tiger offices. I witnessed first hand how horrific the stadium infrastructure had become. Tiger Stadium, still a sight for sore eyes in the stands, was just an eyesore deep within. It was a great place to visit, but not a nice place to work. Not for the ballplayers, Tiger employees, media, or concession people.

Could things have been done to improve Tiger Stadium, possibly increase it's usable lifespan for an another decade or two? Maybe, but we all know that the Tigers were angling for a new stadium, so those improvements were never going to happen. Was allowing the stadium to decay the best thing to do? That could be debated. But we did end up with, flawed as it may be, a jewel of a new stadium.

Time has run out. We know that there will be no white knight coming to save the day. Considering what would be needed, it was unrealistic to think that something could be done with the rusted hulk. There is no plausable plan to ressurect the corner, and more importantly, no one has come forward with the gazllions needed to refurb it.

Unfortunately with projects like these, there are squeaky wheels, and they want grease... In this case, it's the Tiger Stadium Fan Club.

Given the destruction of Tiger Stadium is inevitable, why does the media continue to insist on trotting on the Don Quixotes of Detroit, the Tiger Stadium Fan Club (I'll refer to them as TSFC), every time there is news regarding the stadium? The TSFC was cute once upon a time. Then they became just tolerable. Now they just come off as progress impeding cranks.

Get over it. You hugged the stadium, and continued from there to get more attention than you probably deserved. You fought a good fight, even if it was one that you were never going to win. It's over, you lost, it's time to move on.

But they continue to tilt at rotting stadiums. I saw a TSFC representative on WDIV's Local 4 news tonight, and what he said was mind blowingly asinine. And just what did this self-styled Norman Einstein have to say?

"And the best we can do is put up a row of shops, a Rite-Aid pharmacy perhaps, and some housing on top of that?"

Did I hear Norman correctly? New housing and stores in Corktown? That's a BAD thing in their minds? Don't they have even a semblance of a clue? Let's see, what choices do we have? Either continue to grasp at straws in regard to pie in the sky plans that will never happen, or knock the SOB down, and build something that could increase the tax base while helping the citizens of Detroit. Lord knows, they could use a little.

I'm not saying that the city of Detroit is efficient making a decision. Look at the current Book Cadillac fiasco. Hell, it's only taken 7 damn years to get to this point with Tiger Stadium. But they are finally going to make that decision, and that will be to blow the old girl up.

Every city has been thru this, but without all the damn drama. Comiskey Park. The Polo Grounds. Ebbets Field. Memorial Stadium. Crosley Field. Busch Stadium. Riverfront Stadium. Veterans Stadium. I could go on... They are not forgotten, but all are gone.

The TSFC needs to realize that you can't stop progress, and in this instance, progress is for the better. Much better.


  1. It is definitely past it's prime but I always thought the site would be better served as being demolished (obviously!) and then building a new hockey arena there... you know, Illitch could give something back to the local area that thrived on sports fans for so long and had them stolen from them when he moved out and built CoPa.

  2. I totally agree on this, Big Al. At one time, groups like TSFC served a purpose, and their intent was noble. But now, they're clearly just being obstructionists.

    If THE PEOPLE OF CORKTOWN are on board with this plan (if the city is to be believed), who the hell are the TSFC to stand in the way?!?

    Heaven forbid the city of Detroit develop something that helps an already established neighborhood and community. Corktown is one of Detroit's gems, and replacing Tiger Stadium is sorely needed to upgrade that part of the city.